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Identifying Equilibrium Models of Labor Market Sorting

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  • Marcus Hagedorn
  • Tzuo Hann Law
  • Iourii Manovskii

Abstract

We assess the empirical content of equilibrium models of labor market sorting based on unobserved (to economists) characteristics. In particular, we show theoretically that all parameters of the classic model of sorting based on absolute advantage in Becker, 1973 with search frictions can be nonparametrically identified using only matched employer–employee data on wages and labor market transitions. In particular, these data are sufficient to nonparametrically estimate the output of any individual worker with any given firm. Our identification proof is constructive and we provide computational algorithms that implement our identification strategy given the limitations of the available data sets. Finally, we add on‐the‐job search to the model, extend the identification strategy, and apply it to a large German matched employer–employee data set to describe detailed patterns of sorting and properties of the production function.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Hagedorn & Tzuo Hann Law & Iourii Manovskii, 2017. "Identifying Equilibrium Models of Labor Market Sorting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 29-65, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:emetrp:v:85:y:2017:i::p:29-65
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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