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A Fair Wage Model of Unemployment with Inertia in Fairness Perceptions

  • Monica Correa-Lopez
  • George Choullarakis
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    Theories of psychology and empirical evidence suggest that the reference transactions against which workers judge fairness exhibit inertia. This paper shows that a fair-wage model with inertia in fairness perceptions provides a plausible explanation for the observed negative correlation between changes in productivity growth and equilibrium unemployment over the medium run, a stylized fact that remains elusive to most other classes of models. It also shows that skillbiased productivity shocks and shocks to workers’ taste for equal pay have permanent effects on unemployment and the skill premium. Thus, skill-biased shocks to productivity increase unemployment among the lowskilled while, if high-skilled workers are less inequity-averse, they reduce unemployment among the high-skilled.

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    Paper provided by BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department in its series Working Papers with number 1203.

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    Length: 25 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bbv:wpaper:1203
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