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Mismatch as choice

Listed author(s):
  • Yu (Sonja) Chen

    (University of Calgary)

  • Matthew Doyle
  • Francisco M. Gonzalez

We characterize a competitive search equilibrium in which firms in some markets create jobs that workers seek even though those jobs do not make the most productive use of workers' skills. We refer to markets in which workers purposefully search for and accept inferior jobs as exhibiting directed mismatch. This kind of misallocation is driven by the fact that incomplete information about workers' outside options implies that the value of on-the-job search is higher for workers employed in those inferior jobs. Our theory provides new insights into the returns to education as well as the impact of on-the-job search on labor market mismatch. It also suggests that the declining fortunes of college educated American workers in recent decades, like those of high school graduates, are linked to the automation and o¤shoring of routine-task based jobs.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Calgary in its series Working Papers with number 2017-04.

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Date of creation:
Date of revision: 15 May 2017
Handle: RePEc:clg:wpaper:2017-04
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  1. 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.
  2. Douglas Gale, 1992. "A Walrasian Theory of Markets with Adverse Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 229-255.
  3. Paul Beaudry & David A. Green & Benjamin M. Sand, 2016. "The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 199-247.
  4. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
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  8. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  9. Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2010. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 1823-1862, November.
  10. Derek G. Stacey, 2014. "Commitment and Costly Signalling in Decentralized Markets," Working Papers 060, Ryerson University, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2015.
  11. Douglas Gale, 1996. "Equilibria and Pareto optima of markets with adverse selection (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 207-235.
  12. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  13. Alain Delacroix & Shouyong Shi, 2006. "Directed Search On The Job And The Wage Ladder," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 651-699, 05.
  14. Pieter A. Gautier & Coen N. Teulings & Aico Van Vuuren, 2010. "On-the-Job Search, Mismatch and Efficiency ," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 245-272.
  15. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
  16. Guido Matias Cortes, 2016. "Where Have the Middle-Wage Workers Gone? A Study of Polarization Using Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 63-105.
  17. Delacroix, Alain & Shi, Shouyong, 2013. "Pricing and signaling with frictions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1301-1332.
  18. David H. Autor, 2015. "Why Are There Still So Many Jobs? The History and Future of Workplace Automation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
  19. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning & Anna Salomons, 2014. "Explaining job polarization: routine-biased technological change and offshoring," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59698, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  20. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning & Anna Salomons, 2014. "Explaining Job Polarization: Routine-Biased Technological Change and Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2509-2526, August.
  21. 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.
  22. Sicherman, Nachum & Galor, Oded, 1990. "A Theory of Career Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 169-192, February.
  23. 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.
  24. Faig, Miquel & Jerez, Belen, 2005. "A theory of commerce," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 60-99, May.
  25. Shouyong Shi, 2002. "A Directed Search Model of Inequality with Heterogeneous Skills and Skill-Biased Technology," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 467-491.
  26. Paul Beaudry & David A. Green & Benjamin M. Sand, 2014. "The Declining Fortunes of the Young since 2000," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 381-386, May.
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