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Simultaneous search with heterogeneous firms and ex post competition

  • Gautier, Pieter A.
  • Wolthoff, Ronald P.

In this paper we study the allocation of workers over high and low productivity firms in a labor market with coordination frictions. Specifically, we consider a search model where workers can apply to high and or low productivity firms. Firms that compete for the same candidate can increase their wage offers as often as they like. We show that if workers apply to two jobs, there is a unique symmetric equilibrium where workers mix between sending both applications to the high and sending both to the low productivity sector. But, efficiency requires that they apply to both sectors because a higher matching rate in the high-productivity sector can then be realized with fewer applications (and consequently fewer coordination frictions) if workers always accept the offer of the most productive firm. However, in the market the worker's payoff is determined by how much the firm with the second highest productivity is willing to bid. This is what prevents them from applying to both sectors. For many configurations, the equilibrium outcomes are the same under directed and random search so our results are not driven by random search. We discuss the effects of increasing the number of applications and show that our results can easily be generalized to N-firms.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 311-319

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:16:y:2009:i:3:p:311-319
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  1. Galenianos, Manolis & Kircher, Philipp, 2009. "Directed search with multiple job applications," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 445-471, March.
  2. Pieter A. Gautier & José Luis Moraga-González, 2004. "Strategic Wage Setting and Coordination Frictions with Multiple Applications," CESifo Working Paper Series 1304, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Shouyong Shi, 2002. "A Directed Search Model of Inequality with Heterogeneous Skills and Skill-Biased Technology," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 467-491.
  4. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  5. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  6. James Albrecht, Pieter Gautier, & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Application," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-02, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  7. repec:inr:wpaper:155908 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
  9. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs In an Economy with Coordination Frictions," NBER Working Papers 8501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
  11. Hector Chade & Lones Smith, 2006. "Simultaneous Search," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1556, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. Kultti, K.K., 1997. "Equivalence of Auctions and Posted Prices," Discussion Paper 1997-57, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  13. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  14. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-54, September.
  15. Julien, B. & Kennes, J. & King, I., 1998. "Bidding for Labour," Discussion Papers dp98-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  16. Steven J. Davis, 2001. "The Quality Distribution of Jobs and the Structure of Wages in Search Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 8434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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