Incomplete self-enforcing labor contracts
AbstractWe consider a model economy populated by risk-neutral firms with multiple vacancies and risk-averse workers. Following the implicit contract literature, we assume that workers have limited access to the intertemporal trade markets. Following the directed search literature, we assume that unemployed workers choose which firms to visit based on the labor contracts they advertise. Under perfect commitment, the optimal contract between the firm and a worker keeps the workerâ€™s marginal utility constant across dates and states and prescribes that the worker is employed only when employment is ex-post efficient. Also, under perfect commitment, the optimal contract leaves the firm complete discretion to choose the terms of trade offered to future applicants. Therefore, the inflow of new workers is ex-post efficient too. Overall, under perfect commitment, labor contracts create a real wage rigidity that has no allocative effects on labor. Then, we consider an alternative scenario where both firms and workers can leave the employment relationship at any stage and at no cost. Under limited commitment, there is a tension between the goals of insurance provision and recruitment. In those states of the world where the value of the ex-post efficient contract offered to new applicants is lower then the continuation value of the ex-ante optimal contract offered to a senior employee, the firm has an incentive to replace senior with new applicants. The optimal self-enforcing contract efficiently trades-off the goals of insurance and recruitment by prescribing not only what wage the firm should pay its employee at every date and state, but also what contract the firm should offer in the future to new applicants. We show that the optimal self-enforcing contract creates ex-post distortions on the value of the contract offered to new applicants. Most interestingly, we show that for small negative shocks to firmâ€™s productivity, the contract offered to junior and senior employees is identical. The value of this common contract is greater than the value of the ex-post efficient hiring contract. In general equilibrium, this ex-post distortion translates into inefficiently large responses of the unemployment rate to small and negative shocks to aggregate productivity.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2006 Meeting Papers with number 590.
Date of creation: 03 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
More information through EDIRC
implicit contracts; unemployment fluctuations; directed search;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2006.
"Unemployment fluctuations with staggered Nash wage bargaining,"
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2009. "Unemployment Fluctuations with Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(1), pages 38-86, 02.
- Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2006. "Unemployment Fluctuations with Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 525, Society for Computational Economics.
- Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2006. "Unemployment Fluctuations With Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," NBER Working Papers 12498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gertler, Mark & Trigari, Antonella, 2006. "Unemployment fluctuation with staggered Nash wage bargaining," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Gary Solon & Ryan Michaels & Michael W. L. Elsby, 2009.
"The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment,"
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 84-110, January.
- Luca Sala & Antonella Trigari & Mark Gertler, 2007.
"An Estimated Monetary DSGE Model with Unemployment and Staggered Nominal Wage Bargaining,"
2007 Meeting Papers
353, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Mark Gertler & Luca Sala & Antonella Trigari, 2008. "An Estimated Monetary DSGE Model with Unemployment and Staggered Nominal Wage Bargaining," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(8), pages 1713-1764, December.
- Mark Gertler & Luca Sala & Antonella Trigari, 2008. "An Estimated Monetary DSGE Model with Unemployment and Staggered Nominal Wage Bargaining," Working Papers 341, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2008. "Competitive search equilibrium in a DSGE model," International Finance Discussion Papers 929, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- repec:cfs:cfswop:wp200709 is not listed on IDEAS
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.