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Wage Posting as a Positive Selection Device: Theory and Empirical Evidence

Listed author(s):
  • Hermann Gartner
  • Christian Holzner

    ()

We use the German Job Vacancy Survey to investigate whether firms are able to attract more suitable applicants by offering bargain wages rather than posting fixed wages. Contrary to the theoretical predictions provided by the literature, we find that the offer to bargain over pay decreases the share of suitable applicants. To explain these findings we develop a directed search model with asymmetric information about workers’ types and incomplete contracts, which allows firms to condition their hiring decision on the match quality revealed at the job interview. We show that wage-posting and wage-bargaining firms coexist if pooling workers with different expected match quality is too costly for wage-posting firms and if the bargaining power is not too far away from satisfying the Hosios condition. In such an equilibrium wage-posting firms hire only workers with a high match quality and wage-bargaining firms hire workers with a high and a medium match quality.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp5494.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 5494.

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Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5494
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  1. Albrecht, James & Gautier, Pieter & Vroman, Susan, 2012. "A note on Peters and Severinov, “Competition among sellers who offer auctions instead of prices”," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 389-392.
  2. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Kaas, Leo, 2015. "Worker mobility in a search model with adverse selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 340-386.
  3. Tore Ellingsen & Asa Rosen, 2003. "Fixed or Flexible? Wage-setting in Search Equilibrium," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(278), pages 233-250, May.
  4. Brenzel, Hanna & Gartner, Hermann & Schnabel, Claus, 2014. "Wage bargaining or wage posting? Evidence from the employers' side," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 41-48.
  5. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2005. "Why do some firms give stock options to all employees?: An empirical examination of alternative theories," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 99-133, April.
  6. J. Luis Guasch & Andrew Weiss, 1982. "An Equilibrium Analysis of Wage—Productivity Gaps," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 485-497.
  7. Delacroix, Alain & Shi, Shouyong, 2013. "Pricing and signaling with frictions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1301-1332.
  8. Guido Menzio, 2007. "A Theory of Partially Directed Search," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 748-769, October.
  9. Gabriele Camera & Alain Delacroix, 2004. "Trade Mechanism Selection in Markets with Frictions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(4), pages 851-868, October.
  10. Abbring, J. H. & van Ours, J. C., 1994. "Sequential or non-sequential employers' search?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 323-328.
  11. Peters, Michael & Severinov, Sergei, 1997. "Competition among Sellers Who Offer Auctions Instead of Prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 141-179, July.
  12. Brencic, Vera & Norris, John B., 2010. "Do employers change job offers in their online job ads to facilitate search?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 46-48, July.
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