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To Match or Not to Match? Optimal Wage Policy With Endogenous Worker Search Intensity

Author

Listed:
  • Fabien Postel-Vinay

    (Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris)

  • Jean-Marc Robin

    (Universite Paris I)

Abstract

We consider an equilibrium search model with on-the-job search where firms set wages. When an employee receives an outside job offer, it is optimal for the employer to try to retain the employee by matching the offer. This results in a wage increase for the worker. However, if workers are able to vary their search intensity, then this `offer-matching' policy runs into a moral hazard problem. Knowing that outside offers lead to wage increases, workers tend to search more intensively, which is costly for the firms. Assuming that firms can commit never to match outside offers, we examine the set of firm types for which it is preferable to do so. In particular, we show that a plausible pattern is one where a `dual' labor market emerges, with `bad' jobs at low-productivity, nonmatching firms and `good' jobs at high-productivity, matching firms. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2004. "To Match or Not to Match? Optimal Wage Policy With Endogenous Worker Search Intensity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(2), pages 297-330, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:7:y:2004:i:2:p:297-330 DOI: 10.1016/S1094-2025(03)00058-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor market frictions; Wage policy; Search intensity; Moral hazard;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L68 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Appliances; Furniture; Other Consumer Durables

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