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Job Heterogeneity and Coordination Frictions


  • John Kennes

    () (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University)

  • Daniel le Maire

    (University of Copenhagen)


We develop a new directed search model of a frictional labor market with a continuum of heterogenous workers and firms. We estimate two versions of the model - auction and price posting - using Danish data on wages and productivities. Assuming heterogenous workers with no comparative advantage, we find that each model gives a reasonable approximation of the statistical moments of both the wage and productivity distribution. A sensitivity analysis then draws out further implications of the theory. We explain how the feasible matchings between workers and firms changes as the worker moves up the job ladder, how the identification of assortative matching is fundamentally different in directed and undirected search models, how our theory accounts for business cycle facts related to inter-temporal changes in job offer distributions, and how our model could also be used to identify the contributions of specific versus general human capital.

Suggested Citation

  • John Kennes & Daniel le Maire, 2013. "Job Heterogeneity and Coordination Frictions," Economics Working Papers 2013-09, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2013-09

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Benoît Julien & John Kennes & Ian King & Sephorah Mangin, 2009. "Directed search, unemployment and public policy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(3), pages 956-983, August.
    2. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
    3. Jan Eeckhout & Philipp Kircher, 2011. "Identifying Sorting--In Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 872-906.
    4. Shouyong Shi, 1998. "Frictional Assignment," Working Papers 988, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    5. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2011. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 468-510.
    6. Jesper Bagger & Fran?ois Fontaine & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2014. "Tenure, Experience, Human Capital, and Wages: A Tractable Equilibrium Search Model of Wage Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1551-1596, June.
    7. Geert Ridder & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "Measuring Labor Market Frictions: A Cross-Country Comparison," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 224-244, March.
    8. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs in an Economy with Coordination Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 996-1025, October.
    9. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1992. "Loss of Skill During Unemployment and the Persistence of Employment Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1371-1391.
    10. Dale T. Mortensen & Bent Jesper Christensen & Jesper Bagger, 2010. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion: Labor Quality or Rent Sharing?," 2010 Meeting Papers 758, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Rogerson, Richard & Wallenius, Johanna, 2009. "Micro and macro elasticities in a life cycle model with taxes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2277-2292, November.
    12. Benoit Julien & John Kennes & Ian King, 2000. "Bidding for Labor," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(4), pages 619-649, October.
    13. Benoit Julien & John Kennes & Ian King, 2006. "Residual Wage Disparity And Coordination Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 961-989, August.
    14. Rasmus Lentz & Jesper Bagger, 2009. "An Empirical Model of Wage Dispersion with Sorting," 2009 Meeting Papers 964, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2011. "Frictional Wage Dispersion in Search Models: A Quantitative Assessment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2873-2898, December.
    16. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-880, June.
    17. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2008. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    18. John Kennes & John Knowles, 2013. "Can technological change account for the sexual revolution?," Economics Working Papers 2013-07, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Randall Wright & Philipp Kircher & Benoit Julîen & Veronica Guerrieri, 2017. "Directed Search: A Guided Tour," NBER Working Papers 23884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis & Pérez-Duarte, Sébastien & Schmutte, Ian M., 2014. "Sorting Between and Within Industries: A Testable Model of Assortative Matching," IZA Discussion Papers 8439, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Basov, Suren & King, Ian & Uren, Lawrence, 2014. "Worker heterogeneity, the job-finding rate, and technical change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 159-177.

    More about this item


    Directed Search; Auctions; Wage Posting; On-the-Job Search; Comparative Advantage; Assortative Matching; Business Cycles; Human Capital;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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