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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. Ekeland, Ivar & Heckman, James J. & Nesheim, Lars, 2003. "Identification and Estimation of Hedonic Models," IZA Discussion Papers 853, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997. "Assortative Matching and Search," Working papers 97-2b, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
  4. Gerard J. van den Berg, 1998. "Empirical Inference with Equilibrium Search Models of the Labor Market," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-089/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. 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.
  6. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
  7. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  8. 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.
  9. Berg, G.J. & Ridder, G., 1993. "An empirical equilibrium search model of the labour market," Serie Research Memoranda 0039, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  10. Gautier, Pieter A. & Teulings, Coen & van Vuuren, Aico, 2005. "On-The-Job Search and Sorting," IZA Discussion Papers 1687, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. John M. Abowd & Thomas Lemieux, 1991. "The Effects of Product Market Competition on Collective Bargaining Agreements: The Case of Foreign Competition in Canada," NBER Working Papers 3808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Coen N. Teulings, 2005. "Comparative Advantage, Relative Wages, and the Accumulation of Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 425-461, April.
  14. Gautier, P.A. & Teulings, C.N., 2009. "Search and the city," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 251-265, May.
  15. Coen N. Teulings & Pieter A. Gautier, 2004. "The Right Man for the Job," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 553-580.
  16. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  17. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Kahn, Shulamit & Lang, Kevin, 1988. "Efficient Estimation of Structural Hedonic Systems," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 157-66, February.
  19. Sattinger, Michael, 1975. "Comparative Advantage and the Distributions of Earnings and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 455-68, May.
  20. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  21. repec:inr:wpaper:155908 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. 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.
  23. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
  24. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1987. "Inter-Industry Wage Differences and Theories of Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 2271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. 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.
  26. Coen N. Teulings, 2002. "Comparative Advantage, Relative Wages, and the Accumulation of Human Capital," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-081/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 08 Apr 2005.
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