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Equilibrium Wage Distribution

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  • Stiglitz, Joseph E

Abstract

This paper analyzes equilibrium in labor markets with costly search. Even in steady state equilibrium, identical labor may receive different wages; this may be the case even when the only source of imperfect information is the inequality of wages which the market is perpetuating. When there are information imperfections arising from (symmetric)differences in non-pecuniary characteristics of jobs and preferences of individuals, there will not in general exist a full employment, zero profit single wage equilibrium.There are, in general, a multiplicity of equilbria. Equilibrium may be characterized by unemployment; in spite of the presence of an excess supply of labor, no firm is willing to hire workers at a lowerwage. It knows that if it does so, the quit rate will be higher, and hence turnover costs(training costs) will be higher, so much so that profits will actually be lower. The model thus provides a rationale for real wage rigidity. The model also provides a theory of equilibrium frictional unemployment.Though the constrained optimality (taking explicitly into account the costs associated with obtaining information and search) may entail unemployment and wage dispersion, the levels of unemployment and wage dispersion in the market equilibrium will not, in general, be (constrained) optimal.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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  • Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1985. "Equilibrium Wage Distribution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 595-618, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:95:y:1985:i:379:p:595-618
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    1. Steven Salop, 1977. "The Noisy Monopolist: Imperfect Information, Price Dispersion and Price Discrimination," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 393-406.
    2. Salop, Steven C, 1979. "A Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 117-125, March.
    3. Philip H. Dybvig & Gerald David Jaynes, 1980. "Output Supply, Employment, and Intra-Industry Wage Dispersion," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 546, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    4. Gerard R. Butters, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 465-491.
    5. Arnott, Richard J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1985. "Labor Turnover, Wage Structures, and Moral Hazard: The Inefficiency of Competitive Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 434-462, October.
    6. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
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    1. repec:bla:manchs:v:85:y:2017:i:3:p:295-319 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. de Melo, Jaime & Tarr, David, 1990. "Do wage distortions justify protection in the U.S. auto and steel industries?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 517, The World Bank.
    3. Espen R. Moen & Åsa Rosén, 2004. "Does Poaching Distort Training?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1143-1162.
    4. Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "Multiple Equilibria and Minimum Wages in Labor Markets with Informational Frictions and Heterogeneous Production Technologies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1337-1357, November.
    5. Michael P. Keane, 1993. "Individual Heterogeneity and Interindustry Wage Differentials," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 134-161.
    6. Bhaskar, V. & To, Ted, 2003. "Oligopsony and the distribution of wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 371-399, April.
    7. Veronique Genre & Karsten Kohn & Daphne Momferatou, 2011. "Understanding inter-industry wage structures in the euro area," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(11), pages 1299-1313.
    8. repec:eee:reecon:v:71:y:2017:i:4:p:798-802 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. van den Berg, Gerard J. & van Vuuren, Aico, 2010. "The effect of search frictions on wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 875-885, December.
    10. Ramser, Hans Jürgen, 1980. "Arbeitslosigkeit aufgrund unvollständiger Information," Discussion Papers, Series I 149, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
    11. Anthony Yates, 1998. "Downward nominal rigidity and monetary policy," Bank of England working papers 82, Bank of England.
    12. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2373-2437 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Canegallo, Claudia, 1999. "Funzionamento del mercato del lavoro in presenza di informazione asimmetrica. Una rassegna della letteratura," POLIS Working Papers 8, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
    14. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M & Gomme, Paul, 1994. "Labor Turnover and the Natural Rate of Unemployment: Efficiency Wage versus Frictional Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 276-315, April.
    15. Snower, Dennis J., 1999. "Inequality of Earnings," CEPR Discussion Papers 2321, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Greenwald, Bruce C. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1987. "Imperfect information, credit markets and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 444-456.
    17. Quandt, Richard E & Rosen, Harvey S, 1986. "Unemployment, Disequilibrium and the Short Run Phillips Curve: An Econometric Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(3), pages 235-253, July.
    18. Alan Carruth & Bill Collier & Andy Dickerson, 1999. "Inter-industry Wage Differences and Individual Heterogeneity: How Competitive is Wage Setting in the UK?," Studies in Economics 9914, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    19. Jean-Luc Bailly, 2012. "Labour, wages, and non- wage incomes," Chapters,in: Modern Monetary Macroeconomics, chapter 4, pages 100-133 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    20. Guerrazzi, Marco & Meccheri, Nicola, 2012. "From wage rigidity to labour market institution rigidity: A turning-point in explaining unemployment?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 189-197.
    21. Earle, John S. & Peter, Klara Sabirianova, 2000. "Equilibrium Wage Arrears: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Institutional Lock-In," IZA Discussion Papers 196, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. John S. Earle & Klara Z. Sabirianova, 2000. "Equilibrium Wage Arrears: Institutional Lock-In of Contractual Failure in Russia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 321, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    23. Joseph E. Stieglitz, 2002. "Demokratische Entwicklungen als Früchte der Arbeit (-erbewegung)," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 28(1), pages 9-41.

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