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Wage Formation: Towards Isolating Search and Bargaining Effects from the Marginal Product

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  • Jeanne Tschopp

Abstract

This paper estimates the importance of workers’ outside options in wage determination. In models of search and bargaining, a worker’s wage is determined by the marginal product of labour and by a weighted average of wages in alternate jobs. Thus, the nature of the wage equation makes it difficult to isolate changes in workers’ outside options that are independent from changes in the marginal product of labour. This paper builds on the predictions of a search and bargaining model with multiple cities, industries and occupations to propose novel identification strategies. Using a unique administrative panel database for Germany, the study exploits differences in both the employment composition across cities and in job-specific skill transferability as sources of variation for identification. The main finding of the paper is that a 10% increase in the outside options of a worker generates a 7% wage increase.
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Suggested Citation

  • Jeanne Tschopp, 2017. "Wage Formation: Towards Isolating Search and Bargaining Effects from the Marginal Product," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(603), pages 1693-1729, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:127:y:2017:i:603:p:1693-1729
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.2017.127.issue-603
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fane Groes & Philipp Kircher & Iourii Manovskii, 2015. "The U-Shapes of Occupational Mobility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 659-692.
    2. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 2005. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 681-724, October.
    3. Bender, Stefan & Haas, Anette & Klose, Christoph, 2000. "IAB Employment Subsample 1975-1995 Opportunities for Analysis Provided by the Anonymised Subsample," IZA Discussion Papers 117, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. David A. Green, 2015. "Chasing after good jobs. Do they exist and does it matter if they do?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1215-1265, November.
    2. Tschopp, Jeanne, 2015. "The Wage Response to Shocks: The Role of Inter-Occupational Labour Adjustment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 28-37.
    3. David A. Green, 2014. "What Is a Minimum Wage For? Empirical Results and Theories of Justice," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 40(4), pages 293-314, December.
    4. David A. Green & René Morissette & Ben M. Sand & Iain Snoddy, 2019. "Economy-Wide Spillovers from Booms: Long-Distance Commuting and the Spread of Wage Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 643-687.
    5. Germàn Pupato & Ben Sand & Jeanne Tschopp, 2019. "Estimating the Gains from Trade in Frictional Local Labor Markets," Diskussionsschriften dp1909, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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