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Stochastic Search Equilibrium

We analyze a stochastic equilibrium contract-posting model. Firms post employment contracts, wages contingent on all payoff-relevant states. Aggregate productivity is subject to persistent shocks. Both employed and unemployed workers search randomly for these contracts, and are free to quit at any time. An equilibrium of this contract-posting game is Rank-Preserving [RP] if larger firms offer a larger value to their workers in all states of the world. We show that every equilibrium is RP, and equilibrium is unique, if firms differ either only in their initial size, or also in their fixed idiosyncratic productivity but more productive firms are initially larger, in which case turnover is always efficient, as workers always move from less to more productive firms. The RP equilibrium stochastic dynamics of firm size provide an explanation for the empirical finding that large employers are more cyclically sensitive (Moscarini and Postel-Vinay, 2009). RP equilibrium computation is tractable, and we simulate calibrated examples.

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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1754.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Review of Economic Studies (2013), 80(4): 1545-1581
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1754
Note: CFP 1392
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Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

Phone: (203) 432-3702
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Web page: http://cowles.yale.edu/

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  1. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," Working Papers 05-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "Wage Bargaining with On-the-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 323-364, 03.
  3. Ken Burdett & Melvyn Coles, 2003. "Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1377-1404, 09.
  4. Shouyong Shi & Francisco Gonzalez, 2009. "An Equilibrium Theory of Learning, Search and Wages," 2009 Meeting Papers 27, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2008. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," Working Papers tecipa-327, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  6. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young," Working Papers 10-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3548, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, 2009. "An Equilibrium Search Model When Firms Observe Workers' Employment Status," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 485-506, 05.
  9. Melvyn G. Coles, 2001. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion, Firm Size and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(1), pages 159-187, January.
  10. Dey, M. S. & Flinn, C. J., 2000. "An Equilibrium Model of Health Insurance Provision and Wage Determination," Working Papers 00-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  11. Moscarini, Giuseppe & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2009. "Large Employers Are More Cyclically Sensitive," CEPR Discussion Papers 7173, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Christian Bontemps & Jean-Marc Robin & Gérard J. Van den Berg, 2000. "Equilibrium Search with Continuous Productivity Dispersion: Theory and Nonparametric Estimation," Post-Print hal-00357755, HAL.
  13. Giuseppe Moscarini & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2012. "The Contribution of Large and Small Employers to Job Creation in Times of High and Low Unemployment," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/59cr4u3mmr9, Sciences Po.
  14. Leena Rudanko, 2010. "Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Risk in a Frictional Labor Market," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-054, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  15. Margaret Stevens, 2000. "Wage-Tenure Contracts in a Frictional Labour Market: Firms Strategies for Recruitment and Retention," Economics Series Working Papers 2000-W10, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  16. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "To Match or Not To Match ? Optimal Wage Policy with Endogenous Worker search Intensity," Working Papers 2002-59, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  17. Harald Uhlig, 2010. "A Law of Large Numbers for Large Economies," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2070, David K. Levine.
  18. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Job Loss, Job Finding, and Unemployment in the U.S. Economy Over the Past Fifty Years," NBER Working Papers 11678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Giuseppe Moscarini, 2008. "The Timing of Labor Market Expansions: New Facts and a New Hypothesis," 2008 Meeting Papers 326, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. Stephen E. Spear & Sanjay Srivastava, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617.
  21. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  22. Caputo, Michael R., 2003. "The comparative dynamics of closed-loop controls for discounted infinite horizon optimal control problems," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1335-1365, June.
  23. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2008. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-010, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 28 Feb 2009.
  24. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  25. Gadi Barlevy, 2008. "Identification of Search Models using Record Statistics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 29-64.
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