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Tenure, business cycle and the wage-setting process

  • Arozamena, Leandro
  • Centeno, Mario

We analyze the interaction between job tenure and external labor market conditions in wage determination. First, we introduce a model that combines job matching with business-cycle effects. As the employment relationship progresses, the worker appropriates a portion of the value of the match-specific human capital she accumulates, gradually becoming shielded from the cyclical variations in external labor market conditions: the employment relationship is progressively "internalized". Then, we present empirical evidence supporting this prediction: the elasticity of wages to the unemployment rate decreases with tenure. This finding is robust to different specifications that allow for job heterogeneity, and it contributes to the interpretation of recent evidence of changes in the effect of the business cycle on wages.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 50 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 401-424

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:50:y:2006:i:2:p:401-424
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  1. Marianne Bertrand, 1999. "From the Invisible Handshake to the Invisible Hand? How Import Competition Changes the Employment Relationship," NBER Working Papers 6900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1991. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 665-88, August.
  18. Bowlus, Audra J, 1995. "Matching Workers and Jobs: Cyclical Fluctuations in Match Quality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 335-50, April.
  19. Solon, Gary & Barsky, Robert & Parker, Jonathan A, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important Is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25, February.
  20. Flinn, Christopher J, 1986. "Wages and Job Mobility of Young Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S88-S110, June.
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