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Evidence on the Incidence of Wage Posting, Wage Bargaining, and On-the-Job Search

  • Robert E. Hall
  • Alan B. Krueger

Some workers bargain with prospective employers before accepting a job. Others face a posted wage as a take-it-or-leave-it opportunity. Both modes of wage determination have generated large bodies of research. We surveyed a representative sample of US workers to inquire about the wage determination process at the time they were hired into their current or most recent jobs. A third of the respondents reported bargaining over pay before accepting their current jobs. Almost a third of workers had precise information about pay when they first met with their employers, a sign of wage posting. About 40 percent of workers were on-the-job searchers-they could have remained at their earlier jobs at the time they accepted their current jobs, indicating a more favorable bargaining position than is held by unemployed job-seekers. About half of all workers reported that their employers had learned their pay in their earlier jobs before making the offer that led to the current job. (JEL C83, J31, J52, J64)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 56-67

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:4:y:2012:i:4:p:56-67
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.4.4.56
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  1. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475.
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