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The Equilibrium Approach to Labor Markets

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  • Sherwin Rosen

Abstract

This paper exposits the modern theory of equalizing differences,viewed as optimal assignments of workers to jobs. The basic ideas are first illustrated in a simple model with binary choices of work attributes.Multinominal choices are briefly considered after that. Empirical implications are stressed, with special emphasis on elements of selectivity and stratification by tastes and technology. Applications are sketched for certain aspects of the economics of discrimination, human capital, the value of safety and the theory of implicit contracts. Issues raised by assignment stratification according to worker traits and productivities are discussed, and the principle sorting model by comparative advantageis outlined. The implied valuation system on personal traits and its relationship to factor-analytic models, as well as selectivity issues in educational and occupational choice illustrate this aspect of the theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1165.

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Date of creation: Jul 1983
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1165

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  1. Dale T. Mortensen, 1983. "A Welfare Analysis of Unemployment Insurance: Variations on Second Best Themes," Discussion Papers 549, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Antos, Joseph R. & Rosen, Sherwin, 1975. "Discrimination in the market for public school teachers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 123-150, May.
  3. MacDonald, Glenn M, 1982. "Information in Production," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1143-62, September.
  4. Linnerooth, Joanne, 1979. "The Value of Human Life: A Review of the Models," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(1), pages 52-74, January.
  5. Baily, Martin Neil, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50, January.
  6. Robert E. Hall, 1970. "Why Is the Unemployment Rate So High at Full Employment?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(3), pages 369-410.
  7. John Abowd & Orley Ashenfelter, 1980. "Anticipated Unemployment, Temporary Layoffs and Compensating Wage Differentials," Working Papers 517, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Steven F. Venti, 1987. "Wages in the Federal and Private Sectors," NBER Chapters, in: Public Sector Payrolls, pages 147-182 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ignacio Rodríguez, 2004. "¿Ventajas Absolutas o Comparativas en las Habilidades Laborales? Evidencia Para el Mercado del Trabajo Chileno a Partir de la Encuesta IALS," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 41(122), pages 125-162.
  3. repec:fth:prinin:199 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Beason, Dick, 2000. "Separation risk and firm size-earnings relationships in Japan and the US," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 193-209, September.
  5. Cousineau, Jean-Michel, 1984. "La détermination des salaires des policiers municipaux au Québec," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 60(2), pages 186-199, juin.

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