IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Wage/Tenure Contracts with Heterogeneous Firms

  • Melvyn Coles


  • Ken Burdett

This paper investigates equilibria in a labor market where heterogeneous firms post wage/tenure contracts and risk-averse workers, both employed and unemployed, search for new job opportunities. Different firms, even those with the same productivity, typically offer different contracts. Equilibrium finds workers never quit from higher productivity firms to lower productivity firms, but turnover is inefficiently low as employees with large tenures at low productivity firms may reject job offers from more productive firms. A worker who quits to a more productive firm may take a wage cut in anticipation of better wage promotion prospects. Wages within a firm might also increase by a discrete amount at the end of an initial "probationary" spell.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 649.

in new window

Date of creation: 12 Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:649
Contact details of provider: Postal: Wivenhoe Park, COLCHESTER. CO4 3SQ
Phone: +44-1206-872728
Fax: +44-1206-872724
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Postal: Discussion Papers Administrator, Department of Economics, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, U.K.

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Christian Bontemps & Jean-Marc Robin & Gérard J. Van den Berg, 1999. "An Empirical Equilibrium Job Search Model With Search on the Job and Heterogeneous Workers and Firms," Post-Print hal-00357757, HAL.
  2. Margaret Stevens, 2004. "Wage-Tenure Contracts in a Frictional Labour Market: Firms' Strategies for Recruitment and Retention," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 535-551, 04.
  3. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "Wage bargaining with on-the-job search: theory and evidence," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/dc0ckec3fcb, Sciences Po.
  4. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00353892, HAL.
  5. Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 2005. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority? A Reassessment," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 370-397, April.
  6. Ken Burdett & Melvyn Coles, 2003. "Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1377-1404, 09.
  7. Katharine G. Abraham & Henry S. Farber, 1986. "Job Duration, Seniority and Earnings," Working papers 407, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Albrecht, James W & Axell, Bo, 1984. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 824-40, October.
  9. Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 1992. "The Effects of Labor Market Experience, Job Seniority, and Job Mobility on Wage Growth," NBER Working Papers 4133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1984. "Matching, Turnover, and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 108-22, February.
  11. Iourii Manovskii & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2004. "Occupational Specificity of Human Capital," 2004 Meeting Papers 197, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  13. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "Wage Bargaining with On-the-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00176090, HAL.
  14. Giuseppe Moscarini, 2005. "Job Matching and the Wage Distribution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 481-516, 03.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:649. 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: (Essex Economics Web Manager)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.