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Labor Market Models of Worker and Firm Heterogeneity

Author

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  • Rasmus Lentz
  • Dale T. Mortensen

    () (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, NBER, and CAM
    Department of Economics, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, Aarhus University, NBER, and IZA)

Abstract

Microeconomic data on individual firms and employer-employee matches reveal substantial and persistent dispersion in firm size, productivity, and average wage paid and a positive correlation between each pair. To the extent that intrinsic differences in firm productivity explain these facts, there are several important consequences. First, the reallocation of employment from less to more productive firms will yield efficiency gains. Second, workers will find it in their interest to seek out higher-paying employers. Recent research has provided support for both hypotheses. Third, the existence of worker and employer heterogeneity offers possible gains from sorting. However, because the problem of identifying the presence of sorting is model dependent, it is too early for conclusions about its significance.

Suggested Citation

  • Rasmus Lentz & Dale T. Mortensen, 2010. "Labor Market Models of Worker and Firm Heterogeneity," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 577-602, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:reveco:v:2:y:2010:p:577-602
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Koch, Michael & Egger, Hartmut, 2013. "Trade and the Firm-Internal Allocation of Workers to Tasks," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79841, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Donna, Javier & Schenone, Pablo & Veramendi, Gregory, 2015. "Networks, Frictions, and Price Dispersion," MPRA Paper 66999, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Rui Baptista & Francisco Lima & Miguel Preto, 2013. "Entrepreneurial skills and workers’ wages in small firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 309-323, February.
    4. Anagaw Derseh Mebratie & Peter A. G. van Bergeijk, 2013. "Firm heterogeneity and development: A meta-analysis of FDI productivity spillovers," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 53-74, February.
    5. Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2013. "On the Provision of Insurance Against Search-Induced Wage Fluctuations," Working Papers hal-00850547, HAL.
    6. Michèle A. Weynandt, 2014. "Selective Firing and Lemons," NRN working papers 2014-05, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    productivity differentials; size distribution of firms; wage dispersion; reallocation; assortative matching;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • 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
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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