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Labor force participation and pair-wise efficient contracts with search and bargaining

  • Engelhardt, Bryan
  • Fuller, David L.

A “constant” wage is pair-wise inefficient in a standard search model when workers endogenously separate from employment. We derive a pair-wise efficient employment contract that involves workers paying a hiring fee (or bond) upon the formation of a match. We estimate the constant wage and pair-wise efficient contract assuming the hiring fee is unobservable, and find evidence to reject the pair-wise efficient contract in favor of the constant wage rule. A counterfactual experiment reveals the current level of labor force participation to be 9.6% below the efficient level, and a structural shift to the pair-wise efficient contract improves welfare by roughly 3.5%.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 388-402

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:3:p:388-402
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. 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.
  2. Engelhardt, Bryan & Rocheteau, Guillaume & Rupert, Peter, 2008. "Crime and the labor market: A search model with optimal contracts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1876-1891, October.
  3. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2000. "Equilibrium Search with Continuous Productivity Dispersion: Theory and Nonparametric Estimation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(2), pages 305-58, May.
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  7. Margaret Stevens, 2004. "Wage-Tenure Contracts in a Frictional Labour Market: Firms' Strategies for Recruitment and Retention," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 535-551, 04.
  8. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1987. "Estimating a Structural Search Model: The Transition from School to Work," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 801-17, July.
  9. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  10. Berg, G.J. & Ridder, G., 1993. "An empirical equilibrium search model of the labour market," Serie Research Memoranda 0039, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
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  13. James J. Heckman & Christopher J. Flinn, 1982. "New Methods for Analyzing Structural Models of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Christopher J. Flinn, 2006. "Minimum Wage Effects on Labor Market Outcomes under Search, Matching, and Endogenous Contact Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 1013-1062, 07.
  15. Albrecht, James & Navarro, Lucas & Vroman, Susan, 2009. "Efficiency in a Search and Matching Model with Endogenous Participation," IZA Discussion Papers 4097, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Gautier, Pieter A. & Moraga-González, José L. & Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2007. "Structural Estimation of Search Intensity: Do Non-Employed Workers Search Enough?," IZA Discussion Papers 3045, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Bowlus, Audra J & Kiefer, Nicholas M & Neumann, George R, 1995. "Estimation of Equilibrium Wage Distributions with Heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(S), pages S119-31, Suppl. De.
  18. Bonilla Roberto & Burdett Kenneth, 2010. "On-the-Job Search and Labor Market Equilibrium," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-28, March.
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  21. Gerard J. van den Berg, 1998. "Empirical Inference with Equilibrium Search Models of the Labor Market," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-089/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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