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On-the-Job Search, Minimum Wages, and Labor Market Outcomes in an Equilibrium Bargaining Framework

  • Christopher Flinn
  • James Mabli

We look at the impact of a binding minimum wage on labor market outcomes and welfare distributions in a partial equilibrium model of matching and bargaining in the presence of on-the-job search. We use two different specifications of the Nash bargaining problem. In one, firms engage in a Bertrand competition for the services of an individual, as in Postel-Vinay and Robin (2002). In the other, firms do not engage in such competitions, and the outside option used in bargaining is always the value of unemployed search. We estimate both bargaining specifications using a Method of Simulated Moments estimator applied to data from a recent wave of the Survey of Income and Program Participation. Even though individuals will be paid the minimum wage for a small proportion of their labor market careers, we find significant effects of the minimum wage on the ex ante value of labor market careers, particularly in the case of Bertrand competition between firms. An important futures goal of this research agenda is to develop tests capable of determining which bargaining framework is more consistent with observed patterns of turnover and wage change at the individual level.

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Paper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 91.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:91
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  1. Christopher J. Flinn & James J. Heckman, 1982. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," NBER Working Papers 0979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
  3. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-44, September.
  4. William J. Carrington & Bruce C. Fallick, 1999. "Minimum wage careers?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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