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An Equilibrium Theory of Learning, Search, and Wages

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  • Francisco M. Gonzalez
  • Shouyong Shi

Abstract

We examine the labor market effects of incomplete information about the workers' own job-finding process. Search outcomes convey valuable information, and learning from search generates endogenous heterogeneity in workers' beliefs about their job-finding probability. We characterize this process and analyze its interactions with job creation and wage determination. Our theory sheds new light on how unemployment can affect workers' labor market outcomes and wage determination, providing a rational explanation for discouragement as the consequence of negative search outcomes. In particular, longer unemployment durations are likely to be followed by lower reemployment wages because a worker's beliefs about his job-finding process deteriorate with unemployment duration. Moreover, our analysis provides a set of useful results on dynamic programming with optimal learning. Copyright 2010 The Econometric Society.

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  • Francisco M. Gonzalez & Shouyong Shi, 2010. "An Equilibrium Theory of Learning, Search, and Wages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 509-537, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:78:y:2010:i:2:p:509-537
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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Moscarini & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2013. "Stochastic Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1545-1581.
    2. Jacob Wong, 2017. "Aggregate Reallocation Shocks, Occupational Employment and Distance," School of Economics Working Papers 2017-09, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    3. Menzio, Guido & Shi, Shouyong & Sun, Hongfei, 2013. "A monetary theory with non-degenerate distributions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2266-2312.
    4. Shi, Shouyong, 2016. "Customer relationship and sales," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 483-516.
    5. Aspen Gorry, 2016. "Experience and worker flows," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(1), pages 225-255, March.
    6. Edgar Preugschat & Javier Fernandez-Blanco, 2011. "A Directed Search Model of Ranking by Unemployment Duration," 2011 Meeting Papers 441, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Shouyong Shi & Florian Hoffmann, 2011. "Sectoral Shift, Job Mobility and Wage Inequality," 2011 Meeting Papers 93, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Marianna Kudlyak & Damba Lkhagvasuren & Roman Susuyev, 2012. "Sorting by Skill over the Course of Job Search," Working Papers 12011, Concordia University, Department of Economics, revised 18 Apr 2012.
    9. Kory Kroft & Fabian Lange & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2012. "Duration Dependence and Labor Market Conditions: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 18387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2013. "Estimating Incentive And Welfare Effects Of Nonstationary Unemployment Benefits," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 1159-1198, November.
    11. Wolfram Merzyn & Gabor Virag & Stephan Lauermann, 2010. "Aggregate uncertainty and learning in a search model," 2010 Meeting Papers 1235, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Miana Plesca, 2010. "A General Equilibrium Evaluation of the Employment Service," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 274-329.
    13. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2011. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 468-510.
    14. Delacroix, Alain & Shi, Shouyong, 2013. "Pricing and signaling with frictions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1301-1332.
    15. Pedro Gomes & Javier Fernandez-Blanco, 2013. "On the Composition Effects on the Labor Market Outcomes," 2013 Meeting Papers 561, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Tomaz Cajner & Isabel Cairo, 2011. "Human Capital and Unemployment Dynamics: Why More Educated Workers Enjoy Greater Employment Stability," 2011 Meeting Papers 1145, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Meier, Mario & Obermeier, Tim, 2017. "Employer Screening, Unemployment Stigma and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," EconStor Preprints 148303, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    18. Martin Gervais, 2012. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in a Directed Search Model," 2012 Meeting Papers 1177, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Pedro Gomes, 2015. "The importance of frequency in estimating labour market transition rates," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-10, December.
    20. Akiko Maruyama, 2016. "One-sided learning about one's own type in a two-sided search model," GRIPS Discussion Papers 15-26, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    21. Peter Norman, 2017. "Matching with Frictions and Entry with Poisson Distributed Buyers and Sellers," 2017 Meeting Papers 1150, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    22. Xiao, Chaoqun & Tang, Wansheng & Zhao, Ruiqing & Zhou, Chi, 2013. "Equilibrium search with heterogeneous firms, workers and endogenous human capital," MPRA Paper 52136, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    23. Akiko Maruyama, 2013. "Learning about one's own type: a search model with two-sided uncertainty," GRIPS Discussion Papers 12-24, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    24. Fei Li, 2011. "Efficient Learning, Job Turnover and Wage Dispersion," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-040, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    25. Yaniv Yedid-Levi & Nir Jaimovic & Henry Siu & Martin Gervais, 2011. "What Should I Be When I Grow Up? Occupations and Employment over the Life Cycle and Business Cycle," 2011 Meeting Papers 893, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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