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Directed Search On The Job And The Wage Ladder

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  • Alain Delacroix
  • Shouyong Shi

Abstract

We model a labor market where employed workers search on the job and firms direct workers' search using wage offers and employment probabilities. Applicants observe all offers and face a trade-off between wage and employment probability. There is wage dispersion among workers, even though all workers and jobs are homogeneous. Equilibrium wages form a ladder, as workers optimally choose to climb the ladder one rung at a time. This is because low-wage applicants are relatively more sensitive to employment probability than to wage and thus forgo the opportunity to apply for a high wage, with a lower chance of success. Copyright 2006 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Alain Delacroix & Shouyong Shi, 2006. "Directed Search On The Job And The Wage Ladder," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 651-699, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:47:y:2006:i:2:p:651-699
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shouyong Shi, 2002. "Product Market and the Size-Wage Differential," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 21-54, February.
    2. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 1999. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 827-849, November.
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    6. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-1454, September.
    7. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-979, December.
    8. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-894, October.
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    10. James D. Montgomery, 1991. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion and Interindustry Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 163-179.
    11. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs in an Economy with Coordination Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 996-1025, October.
    12. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-969, July.
    13. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-273, May.
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