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A search model with endogenous job destruction and discrimination: Why equal wage policies may not eliminate wage disparity

  • Lanning, Jonathan A.
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    This paper extends the search with discrimination framework by introducing jobs that are constrained by equal wage policies, and endogenous job destruction that creates Becker-like competitive pressure on prejudiced firms. The model predicts a number of stylized facts observed in the U.S. labor market, including persistent aggregate wage inequality, prevalent within-firm wage equality, overlapping wage distributions for different worker types, and some, but imperfect, job sorting/segregation. Numeric simulations are offered to illustrate some of the model's predictions. These include a counterintuitive relationship between wage inequality and equal wage policies that can arise in special cases: under specific assumptions equal wage policies can actually increase the steady-state level of market discrimination. I discuss this result's implication that different policies may be optimal to combat discrimination based on race versus discrimination based on gender, though this finding may be of limited practical importance.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 55-71

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:26:y:2014:i:c:p:55-71
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2013.11.001
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    1. Luca Flabbi, 2010. "Gender Discrimination Estimation In A Search Model With Matching And Bargaining," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(3), pages 745-783, 08.
    2. Kevin Lang & Michael Manove & William T. Dickens, 2005. "Racial Discrimination in Labor Markets with Posted Wage Offers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1327-1340, September.
    3. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    4. Bowlus, Audra J & Eckstein, Zvi, 1998. "Discrimination and Skill Differences in an Equilibrium Search Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 1859, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Albrecht, James W & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1986. "The Efficiency of Search under Competition and Monopsony," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1246-57, December.
    6. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415.
    7. Erica L. Groshen, 1987. "The structure of the female/male wage differential: is it who you are, what you do, or where you work?," Working Paper 8708, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    8. James J. Heckman & Brook S. Payner, 1989. "Determining the Impact of Federal Antidiscrimination Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks: A Study of South Carolina," NBER Working Papers 2854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Erica L. Groshen, 1991. "Sources of Intra-Industry Wage Dispersion: How Much Do Employers Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 869-884.
    10. Christopher L. Foote & Warren C. Whatley & Gavin Wright, 2003. "Arbitraging a Discriminatory Labor Market: Black Workers at the Ford Motor Company, 19181947," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 493-532, July.
    11. Black, Dan A, 1995. "Discrimination in an Equilibrium Search Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 309-33, April.
    12. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
    13. Higgs, Robert, 1977. "Firm-Specific Evidence on Racial Wage Differentials and Workforce Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 236-45, March.
    14. Craig, Lee A. & Fearn, Robert M., 1993. "Wage Discrimination and Occupational Crowding in a Competitive Industry: Evidence from the American Whaling Industry," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(01), pages 123-138, March.
    15. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, December.
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