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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. Ivar Ekeland & James J. Heckman & Lars Nesheim, 2004. "Identification and Estimation of Hedonic Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S60-S109, February.
  2. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997. "Assortative Matching and Search," Working papers 97-2b, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  9. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," CIRANO Working Papers 94s-23, CIRANO.
  10. Pieter A. Gautier, 2001. "The Right Man for the Job," CESifo Working Paper Series 540, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. 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.
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  13. 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).
  14. Gerard J. van den Berg & Geert Ridder, 1998. "An Empirical Equilibrium Search Model of the Labor Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1183-1222, September.
  15. 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..
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  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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  24. 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.
  25. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium wage dispersion with worker and employer heterogeneity," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/dc0ckec3fcb, Sciences Po.
  26. 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.
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  28. 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.
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