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Unemployment, Labor Market Transitions, And Residual Wage Dispersion

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  • Bernd Fitzenberger
  • Alfred Garloff

Abstract

It is commonplace in the debate on Germany?s labor market problems to argue that high unemployment and low wage dispersion are related. This paper analyses the relationship between unemployment and residual wage dispersion for individuals with comparable attributes. In the conventional neoclassical point of view, wages are determined by the marginal product of the workers. Accordingly, increases in union minimum wages result in a decline of residual wage dispersion and higher unemployment. A competing view regards wage dispersion as the outcome of search frictions and the associated monopsony power of the firms. Accordingly, an increase in search frictions causes both higher unemployment and higher wage dispersion. The empirical analysis attempts to discriminate between the two hypotheses for West Germany analyzing the relationship between wage dispersion and both the level of unemployment as well as the transition rates between different labor market states. The findings are not completely consistent with either theory. However, as predicted by search theory, one robust result is that unemployment by cells is not negatively correlated with the within?cell wage dispersion.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bernd Fitzenberger & Alfred Garloff, 2008. "Unemployment, Labor Market Transitions, And Residual Wage Dispersion," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 55(5), pages 561-590, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:55:y:2008:i:5:p:561-590
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kovács Ildikó & Marton Noémi & Patka Kinga & Páll Katalin, 2010. "The Determinats Of The Unemployment Rate - Empirical Evidence From Romania," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 277-282, December.
    2. Ronald Bachmann, 2005. "Labour Market Dynamics in Germany: Hirings, Separations, and Job-to-Job Transitions over the Business Cycle," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-045, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    3. Marinela, Simuţ Ramona & Lavinia, Delcea (Săutiuţ), 2012. "Challenges for Romania’s employment policy in the Real Economy," MPRA Paper 40369, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Arnd Kölling, 2014. "Labor Demand and Unequal Payment: Does Wage Inequality matter? Analyzing the Influence of Intra-firm Wage Dispersion on Labor Demand with German Employer-Employee Data," Working Paper Series in Economics 326, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    5. Hutter, Christian & Weber, Enzo, 2017. "Labour market effects of wage inequality and skill-biased technical change in Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 201705, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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