Labor Market Signaling with Overconfident Workers
AbstractI extend Spence's (1974) labor market signaling model by assuming some workers are overconfident and some underconfident. Overconfident (underconfident) workers underestimate (overestimate) their marginal cost of acquiring education. Firms cannot observe workers' productive abilities and cannot observe workers' beliefs. However, firms know the fraction of overconfident, underconfident, and high-ability workers in the economy. I find that the presence of overconfident and/or underconfident workers in the labor market compresses wages. I show that workers' biased beliefs reduce welfare when workers are sufficiently different in terms of productivity and cost of education. Finally, I show that if the fraction of overconfident workers is relatively low and workers are sufficiently similar in terms of productivity and cost of education, then biased beliefs improve welfare.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 10.07.
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
More information through EDIRC
signaling; labor market; behavioral biases; wages; education;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CTA-2010-10-16 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-LAB-2010-10-16 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-NEU-2010-10-16 (Neuroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gabaix, Xavier & Laibson, David I., 2006.
"Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets,"
4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540, May.
- Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2005. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," NBER Working Papers 11755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Francesco Squintani & Alvaro Sandroni, 2007.
"Overconfidence, Insurance and Paternalism,"
Economics Discussion Papers
643, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
- Hanming Fang & Giuseppe Moscarini, 2004.
Yale School of Management Working Papers
ysm386, Yale School of Management.
- Lindquist, Matthew J., 2005. "The welfare costs of union wage compression," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 639-658, April.
- Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Claudine Delapierre Saudan).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.