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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. Bryan Engelhardt & Guillaume Rocheteau & Peter Rupert, 2007. "Crime and the labor market: a search model with optimal contracts," Working Paper 0715, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  2. 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.
  3. Christopher Flinn & James Mabli, 2008. "On-the-Job Search, Minimum Wages, and Labor Market Outcomes in an Equilibrium Bargaining Framework," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 91, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  4. Albrecht, James & Navarro, Lucas & Vroman, Susan, 2010. "Efficiency in a search and matching model with endogenous participation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 48-50, January.
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  9. Bontemps, C. & Robin, J.M. & van den Berg, G.J., 1998. "Equilibrium Search with Continuous Productivity Dispersion: Theory and Non-Parametric Estimation," Papers 98-07, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
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  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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