Professional service outsourcing, asymmetric information and wage inequality
The economy is experiencing a large shift towards professional services. Markets for these services are characterized by large information asymmetries: the difficulty in providing the necessary advice, the quality of the advice, and whether a problem is solved may all be unobservable. Our analysis considers these markets in a general equilibrium setting, which allows us to address the selection of talent into occupations and their efficiency and distributional implications. We first show that reductions in communications costs allow these markets to appear and increase wage inequality, as they favor the most skilled agents. However, under asymmetric information these markets are unable to exclude the least talented from posing as experts. If contingent contracts cannot be written, the market collapses and no services are bought or sold. If output contingent contracts are feasible, market exchanges weakly involve excessive trade. Despite the asymmetric information efficiency can be attainable when experts can solve many problems. Even when the allocation is efficient, the asymmetry of information has distributional consequences. It benefits moderately skilled agents at the expense of the least talented and most talented ones.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2005.
"Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy,"
NBER Working Papers
11458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1383-1435.
- Lu, Hu & Robert, Jacques, 2001. "Optimal Trading Mechanisms with Ex Ante Unidentified Traders," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 50-80, March.
- Douglas Gale, 2001. "symposium articles: Signaling in markets with two-sided adverse selection," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 18(2), pages 391-414.
- Berthold Herrendorf & Richard Rogerson & Akos Valentinyi, 2011.
"Two Perspectives on Preferences and Structural Transformation,"
IEHAS Discussion Papers
1134, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
- Berthold Herrendorf & Richard Rogerson & ?kos Valentinyi, 2013. "Two Perspectives on Preferences and Structural Transformation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2752-89, December.
- Berthold Herrendorf & Richard Rogerson & Ákos Valentinyi, 2009. "Two Perspectives on Preferences and Structural Transformation," NBER Working Papers 15416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Haas-Wilson, Deborah, 1986. "The Effect of Commercial Practice Restrictions: The Case of Optometry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 165-86, April.
- Victor R. Fuchs, 1965.
"The Growing Importance of the Service Industries,"
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch65-1.
- Leland, Hayne E, 1979. "Quacks, Lemons, and Licensing: A Theory of Minimum Quality Standards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1328-46, December.
- Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2004. "Inequality and the Organization of Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 197-202, May.
- Carl Shapiro, 1986. "Investment, Moral Hazard, and Occupational Licensing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 843-862.
- Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983.
"Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
- Victor R. Fuchs, 1965. "Introduction to "The Growing Importance of the Service Industries"," NBER Chapters, in: The Growing Importance of the Service Industries, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9137. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.