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How Large are Search Frictions?

  • Pieter A. Gautier
  • Coen N. Teulings

This paper shows that we can normalize job and worker characteristics so that, without frictions, there exists a linear relationship between wages on the one hand and worker and job type indices on the other. However, for five European countries and the United States we find strong evidence for a systematic concave relationship. An assignment model with search frictions provides a parsimonious explanation for our findings. This model yields two restrictions on the coefficients that fit the data well. Allowing for unobserved heterogeneity and measurement error, we find that reservation wages are 25% lower than they would be in a frictionless world. Our resultsrelate to the literature on industry wage differentials and on structural identification in hedonic models. (JEL: J210, J300, J600, J230) (c) 2006 by the European Economic Association.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 4 (2006)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1193-1225

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:4:y:2006:i:6:p:1193-1225
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  1. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
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  12. Kenneth Burdett & Dale T. Mortensen, 1989. "Equilibrium Wage Differentials and Employer Size," Discussion Papers 860, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Abowd, John M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1993. "The Effects of Product Market Competition on Collective Bargaining Agreements: The Case of Foreign Competition in Canada," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 983-1014, November.
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  15. Ivar Ekeland & James J. Heckman & Lars Nesheim, 2003. "Identification and Estimation of Hedonic Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 1031, CESifo Group Munich.
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  18. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
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  20. Gautier, Pieter A & Teulings, Coen N & van Vuuren, Aico, 2006. "On-the-Job Search and Sorting," CEPR Discussion Papers 5575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  27. Teulings, Coen N, 1995. "The Wage Distribution in a Model of the Assignment of Skills to Jobs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 280-315, April.
  28. Sattinger, Michael, 1975. "Comparative Advantage and the Distributions of Earnings and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 455-68, May.
  29. John M. Abowd (corresponding) & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Are Good Workers Employed by Good Firms? A Simple Test of Positive Assortative Matching Models," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 385, Econometric Society.
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