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Wage/tenure contracts with heterogeneous firms

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  • Burdett, Ken
  • Coles, Melvyn

Abstract

This paper investigates equilibria where firms post wage/tenure contracts and risk averse workers search for new job opportunities whether employed or unemployed. We generalize previous work by assuming firms have different productivities. Equilibrium implies more productive firms always offer more desirable contracts. Thus workers never quit from more productive firms for less productive firms. Nevertheless turnover is inefficient as employees with long tenures at low productivity firms may reject outside job offers from more productive firms. A worker who quits to a more productive firm may accept a wage cut. Such wage cuts are compensated by faster "promotion" rates to higher wage levels in the future. We also generalize previous arguments by showing equilibria exist where the distribution of offers contains interior mass points and find equilibrium wage/tenure contracts need not be smooth.

Suggested Citation

  • Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn, 2010. "Wage/tenure contracts with heterogeneous firms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(4), pages 1408-1435, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:145:y:2010:i:4:p:1408-1435
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ken Burdett & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela & Melvyn Coles, 2016. "Wage Inequality: A Structural Decomposition," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 19, pages 20-37, January.
    2. Amanda Gosling & Mathan Satchi, 2014. "Separation incentives and minimum wages in a job-posting search framework," Studies in Economics 1401, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    3. 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.
    4. Cynthia Doniger, 2023. "Wage Dispersion with Heterogeneous Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 51, pages 138-160, December.
    5. Joel Rodrigue & Kunio Tsuyuhara, 2018. "On‐the‐job‐search, wage dispersion and trade liberalization," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 51(2), pages 452-482, May.
    6. Eric Smith & Carlos Carrillo Tudela, 2007. "Wage Dispersion and Wage Dynamics Within and Across Firms," 2007 Meeting Papers 615, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Kunio Tsuyuhara, 2016. "Dynamic Contracts With Worker Mobility Via Directed On‐The‐Job Search," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1405-1424, November.
    8. Ge, Teng & Wu, Tao, 2020. "Search, migration, and social connections: Solving the migration puzzle to Beijing," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    9. Moscarini, Giuseppe & Wright, Randall, 2010. "Introduction to Search Theory and Applications," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(4), pages 1319-1324, July.
    10. Rasmus Lentz, 2014. "Optimal Employment Contracts with Hidden Search," NBER Working Papers 19988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jake Bradley & Axel Gottfries, 2021. "A job ladder model with stochastic employment opportunities," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(4), pages 1399-1430, November.
    12. Günter Strobl & Edward D. Van Wesep, 2013. "Publicizing Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(4), pages 918-932, April.
    13. Fang, Zheng & Sakellariou, Chris, 2015. "Discrimination or Unobserved Differences in Characteristics?-An Empirical Study on Wage Inequality," MPRA Paper 68568, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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