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Frictional wage dispersion with Bertrand competition: an assessment

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  • Tamas Papp

    (Institute for Advanced Studies)

Abstract

I examine whether a version of the Cahuc et al. (2006) model can match the magnitude of wage dispersion, as measured by the ratio of the average and the lowest wage - the so-called mean-min ratio of Hornstein et al. (2011). I find that the workers' bargaining power is a crucial parameter: the mean-min ratio strictly decreases in the bargaining power up to a point near 1/2 and is essentially flat thereafter, generating the same amount of wage dispersion as the canonical wage ladder model, which is a special case of the CPVR model. Consequently, this model can yield large wage dispersion only for low bargaining power on the workers' side. I show that the share of job-to-job transitions with wage drops is decreasing in the bargaining power, calibrate the latter to the former, and demonstrate that the CPVR model generates an empirically plausible amount of wage dispersion. I also show that negative wages arise when workers have no bargaining power, and discuss the implications for the empirical findings of Postel-Vinay and Robin (2002b). (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Tamas Papp, 2013. "Frictional wage dispersion with Bertrand competition: an assessment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 540-552, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:09-187
    DOI: 10.1010/j.red.2013.02.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
    2. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "The Distribution of Earnings in an Equilibrium Search Model with State-Dependent Offers and Counteroffers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 989-1016, November.
    3. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "Wage Bargaining with On-the-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 323-364, March.
    4. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
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    Keywords

    Wage dispersion; Mean-min ratio; Frictions; Labor market;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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