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Frictional Wage Dispersion in Search Models: A Quantitative Assessment

  • Andreas Hornstein
  • Per Krusell
  • Giovanni L. Violante

We propose a new measure of frictional wage dispersion: the mean-min wage ratio. For a large class of search models, we show that this measure is independent of the wage-offer distribution but depends on statistics of labor-market turnover and on preferences. Under plausible preference parameterizations, observed magnitudes for worker flows imply that in the basic search model, and in most of its extensions, frictional wage dispersion is very small. Notable exceptions are some of the most recent models of on-the-job search. Our new measure allows us to rationalize the diverse empirical findings in the large literature estimating structural search models. (JEL D81, D83, J31, J41, J64)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.7.2873
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7 (December)
Pages: 2873-98

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:7:p:2873-98
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