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Stochastic Search Equilibrium

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Abstract

We analyze a stochastic equilibrium contract-posting model. Firms post employment contracts, wages contingent on all payoff-relevant states. Aggregate productivity is subject to persistent shocks. Both employed and unemployed workers search randomly for these contracts, and are free to quit at any time. An equilibrium of this contract-posting game is Rank-Preserving [RP] if larger firms offer a larger value to their workers in all states of the world. We show that every equilibrium is RP, and equilibrium is unique, if firms differ either only in their initial size, or also in their fixed idiosyncratic productivity but more productive firms are initially larger, in which case turnover is always efficient, as workers always move from less to more productive firms. The RP equilibrium stochastic dynamics of firm size provide an explanation for the empirical finding that large employers are more cyclically sensitive (Moscarini and Postel-Vinay, 2009). RP equilibrium computation is tractable, and we simulate calibrated examples.

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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1754.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Review of Economic Studies (2013), 80(4): 1545-1581
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1754

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Keywords: Equilibrium job search; Dynamic contracts; Stochastic dynamics;

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References

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  1. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2008. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Ken Burdett & Melvyn Coles, 2003. "Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1377-1404, 09.
  3. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2004. "To Match or Not to Match? Optimal Wage Policy With Endogenous Worker Search Intensity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(2), pages 297-330, April.
  4. Leena Rudanko, 2008. "Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Risk in a Frictional Labor Market," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series, Boston University - Department of Economics wp2008-009, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. Caputo, Michael R., 2003. "The comparative dynamics of closed-loop controls for discounted infinite horizon optimal control problems," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1335-1365, June.
  6. Margaret Stevens, 2004. "Wage-Tenure Contracts in a Frictional Labour Market: Firms' Strategies for Recruitment and Retention," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 535-551, 04.
  7. Gadi Barlevy, 2008. "Identification of Search Models using Record Statistics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 29-64.
  8. Giuseppe Moscarini & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2009. "The Timing of Labor Market Expansions: New Facts and a New Hypothesis," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 1-51 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 394-425, March.
  10. Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3548, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2000. "Equilibrium Search with Continuous Productivity Dispersion: Theory and Nonparametric Estimation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(2), pages 305-58, May.
  12. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2003. "Wage Bargaining with On-The-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 4154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, 2009. "An Equilibrium Search Model When Firms Observe Workers' Employment Status," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 485-506, 05.
  14. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Job Loss, Job Finding, and Unemployment in the U.S. Economy Over the Past Fifty Years," NBER Working Papers 11678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Dey, M. S. & Flinn, C. J., 2000. "An Equilibrium Model of Health Insurance Provision and Wage Determination," Working Papers, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University 00-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  16. Spear, Stephen E & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617, October.
  17. Giuseppe Moscarini & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2009. "Large Employers Are More Cyclically Sensitive," NBER Working Papers 14740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Melvyn G. Coles, 2001. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion, Firm Size and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(1), pages 159-187, January.
  19. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
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  1. Stochastic Search Equilibrium
    by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2010-03-08 04:33:22
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