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Equilibrium Wage Dispersion and Interindustry Wage Differentials

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  • James D. Montgomery

Abstract

This paper develops a search-theoretic explanation of interindustry wage differentials. Given coordination problems in the labor market, the probability of filling a vacancy is an increasing function of the wage offered; in equilibrium, firms that find vacancies more costly will offer higher wages. The model thus explains the persistence of interindustry wage differentials and their correlation with industry-average capital-labor ratio and profitability. Additionally, the model predicts that high-wage firms will receive more applications per job opening and that wages in the labor market will behave as strategic complements.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:1:p:163-179.
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