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Market power and efficiency in a search model

  • Manolis Galenianos
  • Philipp Kircher
  • Gabor Virag

We build a theoretical model to study the welfare effects and resulting policy implications of firms’ market power in a frictional labor market. Our environment has two main characteristics: wages play a role in allocating labor across firms and there is a finite number of agents. We find that the decentralized equilibrium is inefficient and that the firms’ market power results in the misallocation of workers from the highto the low-productivity firms. A minimum wage forces the low-productivity firms to increase their wage, leading them to hire even more often thereby exacerbating the inefficiencies. Moderate unemployment benefits can increase welfare because they limit firms’ market power by improving the workers’ outside option.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29706/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 29706.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in International Economic Review, 2011, 52(1), pp. 85-104. ISSN: 0020-6598
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:29706
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. James Albrecht & Pieter Gautier, 2004. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Applications," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 330, Econometric Society.
  2. Marja-Liisa Halko & Klaus Kultti & and Juha Virrankoski, 2008. "Search Direction And Wage Dispersion," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 111-134, 02.
  3. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," Working Papers 694, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Galenianos, Manolis & Kircher, Philipp, 2009. "Directed search with multiple job applications," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 445-471, March.
  5. Shouyong Shi, 1998. "Frictional Assignment," Working Papers 988, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Manolis Galenianos & Philipp Kircher, 2012. "On The Game‐Theoretic Foundations Of Competitive Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(1), pages 1-21, 02.
  7. Melvyn G. Coles & Jan Eeckhout, 2000. "Heterogeneity as a coordination device," Economics Working Papers 510, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. Coles, Melvyn G. & Eeckhout, Jan, 2003. "Indeterminacy and directed search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 265-276, August.
  9. Kaas, Leo & Madden, Paul, 2008. "Minimum Wages and Welfare in a Hotelling Duopsony," IZA Discussion Papers 3434, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
  11. Philipp Kircher, 2008. "Efficiency of Simultaneous Search," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-004, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  12. Shi, Shouyong, 2001. "Frictional Assignment. I. Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 232-260, June.
  13. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion and Interindustry Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 163-79, February.
  14. Marimon, Ramon & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1999. "Unemployment vs. Mismatch of Talents: Reconsidering Unemployment Benefits," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 266-91, April.
  15. Peters, Michael, 2000. "Limits of Exact Equilibria for Capacity Constrained Sellers with Costly Search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 139-168, December.
  16. Albrecht, James & Tan, Serene & Gautier, Pieter & Vroman, Susan, 2004. "Matching with multiple applications revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 311-314, September.
  17. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  18. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs In an Economy with Coordination Frictions," NBER Working Papers 8501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-54, September.
  20. Alan Manning, 2001. "Monopsony and the Efficiency of Labour Market Interventions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0514, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  21. Alan Manning & Ted To, 2002. "Oligopsony and Monopsonistic Competition in Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 155-174, Spring.
  22. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  23. Manolis Galenianos & Philipp Kircher, 2007. "Heterogeneous Firms in a Finite Directed Search Economy," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-003, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  24. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
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