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Can Job Competition Prevent Hold-Ups?

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  • Marcel Jansen

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Abstract

We consider an economy in which firms need to invest in capital before they can advertise a job, while applicants may have to compete for jobs. Our aim to investigate how this competition affects the investment decisions of firms. Our first finding shows that the economy always generates the right number of jobs. However, with random search firms under-invest in capital. In contrast, if workers can direct their search towards firms with different capital levels, the equilibrium is efficient. This result contrasts sharply with the predictions of models with ex post wage bargaining that never yield an efficien allocation. Moreover, our results extend the efficiency of auction mechanisms to an environment with non-contractible investments.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we035120.

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Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we035120

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  1. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804, August.
  3. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1984. "Search Intensity, Job Advertising, and Efficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 128-43, January.
  4. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 1999. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 827-49, November.
  5. Moen, Espen R, 1999. "Education, Ranking, and Competition for Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 694-723, October.
  6. Michael Peters, 1995. "A Competitive Distribution of Auctions," Working Papers peters-95-03, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  7. Cole, Harold L. & Mailath, George J. & Postlewaite, Andrew, 2001. "Efficient Non-Contractible Investments in Large Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 333-373, December.
  8. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
  9. Kultti, K.K., 1997. "Equivalence of Auctions and Posted Prices," Discussion Paper 1997-57, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Masters, Adrian M, 1998. "Efficiency of Investment in Human and Physical Capital in a Model of Bilateral Search and Bargaining," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 477-94, May.
  11. Harold L. Cole & George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, . ""Efficient Non-Contractible Investments''," CARESS Working Papres 98-13, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  12. Laing, Derek & Palivos, Theodore & Wang, Ping, 1995. "Learning, Matching and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 115-29, January.
  13. Kevin Roberts & Leonardo Felli, 2000. "Does Competition Solve the Hold-up Problem?," Economics Series Working Papers 2000-W11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  15. Benoit Julien & John Kennes & Ian King, 2000. "Bidding for Labor," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(4), pages 619-649, October.
  16. Moen, E.R., 1996. "Human Capital Investments and Market Imperfections," Memorandum 08/1996, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  17. repec:wop:humbsf:2000-72 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. McAfee, R Preston, 1993. "Mechanism Design by Competing Sellers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1281-1312, November.
  19. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-79, December.
  20. Michael Peters, 1997. "Surplus Extraction and Competition," Working Papers peters-97-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  21. Steven J. Davis, 2001. "The Quality Distribution of Jobs and the Structure of Wages in Search Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 8434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-37, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Conley, John P. & Neilson, William, 2009. "Endogenous games and equilibrium adoption of social norms and ethical constraints," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 761-774, July.

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