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

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  • Hermann Gartner
  • Christian Holzner

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hermann Gartner & Christian Holzner, 2015. "Wage Posting as a Positive Selection Device: Theory and Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 5494, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5494
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Delacroix, Alain & Shi, Shouyong, 2013. "Pricing and signaling with frictions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1301-1332.
    10. Guido Menzio, 2007. "A Theory of Partially Directed Search," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 748-769, October.
    11. Abbring, J. H. & van Ours, J. C., 1994. "Sequential or non-sequential employers' search?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 323-328.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bauer, Anja & Lochner, Benjamin, 2017. "History dependence in wages and cyclical selection: Evidence from Germany," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 23/2017, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    2. Bastian Schulz & Benjamin Lochner, 2016. "Labor Market Sorting in Germany," 2016 Meeting Papers 1298, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Bauer, Anja & Lochner, Benjamin, 2016. "History dependence in wages and cyclical selection: evidence from Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 201629, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item

    Keywords

    asymmetric information; match specific output; wage-posting; wage-bargaining;

    JEL classification:

    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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