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How Does Imperfect Competition in the Labour Market Affect Unemployment Policies?

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  • Wauthy, Xavier
  • Zenou, Yves

Abstract

We consider a continuum of workers ranked according to their ability to acquire education, and two firms with different technologies that compete imperfectly in wages to attract these workers. Once employed, each worker bears an education cost proportional to their initial ability, this cost being higher in the high-technology firm. At the Nash equilibrium, we show that unemployed workers are those with the lowest initial abilities. We then study different policies that subsidy either the education cost or wages and compare them. We found that the first best allocation can only be implemented by selective policies. We then analyse second best non-selective policies that do not discriminate between workers and firms and show that, in terms of welfare, subsidizing education costs or wages is strictly equivalent.

Suggested Citation

  • Wauthy, Xavier & Zenou, Yves, 2001. "How Does Imperfect Competition in the Labour Market Affect Unemployment Policies?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2902, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2902
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jellal, Mohamed & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Demand uncertainty, mismatch and (un)employment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 33-39, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mohamed Jellal & Francois-Charles Wolff, 2003. "Dual Labor Markets And Strategic Efficiency Wage," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 99-112.
    2. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Bjørn Sandvik & Odd Rune Straume, 2004. "Good Jobs, Bad Jobs and Redistribution," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(4), pages 703-720, December.
    3. Tasnadi, Attila, 2005. "A way of explaining unemployment through a wage-setting game," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 191-203, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; heterogeneous workers and firms; Nash Equilibrium in Wages; unemployment policies;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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