Implementing the Mortensen rule in a frictional labor market
We show that, in settings where meetings can be multilateral, the allocation rule proposed by Mortensen (1982) can be relatively straightforward to implement: as a local auction conducted by sellers. The implications of using this mechanism in a simple model of the labor market are then explored. We characterize the equilibrium properties of this model, which include wage dispersion, and examine its implied Beveridge curve. A dynamic version of the model is calibrated to the US labor market, and we show that the model can account for observed vacancy rates, given parameters that are chosen to match the average wages and the natural rate of unemployment, although the implied wage dispersion is quite small. Finally, in the limit, as the time between offer rounds in the model approaches zero, the equilibrium approaches the Walrasian competitive equilibrium.
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