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Real-time search in the laboratory and the market

Author

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  • Meta Brown
  • Christopher J. Flinn
  • Andrew Schotter

Abstract

While widely accepted models of labor market search imply a constant reservation wage policy, the empirical evidence strongly suggests that reservation wages decline in the duration of search. This paper reports the results of the first real-time-search laboratory experiment. The controlled environment that subjects face is stationary, and the payoff-maximizing reservation wage is constant. Nevertheless, subjects' reservation wages decline sharply over time. We investigate two hypotheses to explain this decline: 1) searchers respond to the stock of accruing search costs, and 2) searchers experience nonstationary subjective costs of time spent searching. Our data support the latter hypothesis, and we substantiate this conclusion both experimentally and econometrically.

Suggested Citation

  • Meta Brown & Christopher J. Flinn & Andrew Schotter, 2009. "Real-time search in the laboratory and the market," Staff Reports 410, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:410
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
    2. Ham, John C. & Kagel, John H. & Lehrer, Steven F., 2005. "Randomization, endogeneity and laboratory experiments: the role of cash balances in private value auctions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 175-205.
    3. Addison, John T & Portugal, Pedro, 1987. "On the Distributional Shape of Unemployment Duration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 521-526, August.
    4. Korpi, Tomas, 1995. "Effects of Manpower Policies on Duration Dependence in Re-employment Rates: The Example of Sweden," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(247), pages 353-371, August.
    5. Bergstrom, R & Edin, P-A, 1992. "Time Aggregation and the Distributional Shape of Unemployment Duration," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(1), pages 5-30, Jan.-Marc.
    6. Ham, John C & Rea, Samuel A, Jr, 1987. "Unemployment Insurance and Male Unemployment Duration in Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 325-353, July.
    7. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    8. Cox, James C & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1989. "Laboratory Experiments with a Finite-Horizon Job-Search Model," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 301-329, September.
    9. S. C. Salop, 1973. "Systematic Job Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(2), pages 191-201.
    10. John C. Ham & Xianghong Li & Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2009. "Seam Bias, Multiple-State, Multiple-Spell Duration Models and the Employment Dynamics of Disadvantaged Women," NBER Working Papers 15151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Schotter, Andrew & Braunstein, Yale M, 1981. "Economic Search: An Experimental Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(1), pages 1-25, January.
    12. Flinn, C. & Heckman, J., 1982. "New methods for analyzing structural models of labor force dynamics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 115-168, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Inukai, Keigo & Kawata, Keisuke & Sasaki, Masaru, 2017. "Committee Search with Ex-ante Heterogeneous Agents: Theory and Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 10760, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Marianna Kudlyak & Damba Lkhagvasuren & Roman Sysuyev, 2012. "Sorting by skill over the course of job search," Working Paper 12-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    3. John K. Dagsvik & Tom Kornstad & Terje Skjerpen, 2016. "Discouraged worker effects and barriers against employment for immigrant and non-immigrant women," Discussion Papers 845, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    4. repec:eee:jeborg:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:91-119 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Tasneem, Dina & Engle-Warnick, Jim & Benchekroun, Hassan, 2017. "An experimental study of a common property renewable resource game in continuous time," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 91-119.
    6. Nicolas Jacquemet & Olivier L’Haridon & Isabelle Vialle, 2014. "Marché du travail, évaluation et économie expérimentale," Revue française d'économie, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 189-226.
    7. McGee, Andrew & McGee, Peter, 2016. "Search, effort, and locus of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 89-101.
    8. Takao Asano & Hiroko Okudaira & Masaru Sasaki, 2015. "An experimental test of a search model under ambiguity," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 79(4), pages 627-637, December.
    9. Le Barbanchon, Thomas, 2016. "The effect of the potential duration of unemployment benefits on unemployment exits to work and match quality in France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 16-29.
    10. Dmitry Ryvkin & Danila Serra, 2015. "Is more competition always better? An experimental study of extortionary corruption," Working Papers wp2015_10_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    11. Takao Asano & Hiroko Okudaira & Masaru Sasaki, 2015. "An Experimental Test of a Search Model under Ambiguity," KIER Working Papers 913, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    12. Nakajima, Daisuke & Masatlioglu, Yusufcan, 2013. "Choice by iterative search," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(3), September.
    13. Paul Viefers & Philipp Strack, 2014. "Too Proud to Stop: Regret in Dynamic Decisions," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1401, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. Boğaçhan Çelen & Erkut Özbay, 2012. "Introduction to a festschrift for Andrew Schotter," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 16(2), pages 89-91, September.
    15. Charles Bellemare & Steeve Marchand & Bruce Shearer, 2016. "Structural Estimation and Experiments: Applications to Contracting Models," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(2), pages 342-363, June.
    16. repec:smu:ecowpa:1301 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor market ; Job hunting ; Wages ; Employment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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