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Fixed or Flexible? Wage Setting in Search Equilibrium

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  • Ellingsen, T.
  • Rosen, A.

Abstract

Why do some vacancies offer a posted wage whereas others offer a negotiable wage? The paper endogenizes the choice of wage policy in a search model with heterogeneous workers. In particular, we characterize the circumstances under which there exist an equilibrium where all firms negotiate wages. Generally, we find that a tight labor market favors bargaining over posting, as does large worker heterogeneity. In the equilibrium of our model, labor markets are tighter when workers are more productive, suggesting a reason why wages are more often negotiated for highly paid jobs.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellingsen, T. & Rosen, A., 1997. "Fixed or Flexible? Wage Setting in Search Equilibrium," Papers 1997-17, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:uppaal:1997-17
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dale T. Mortensen, 1982. "The Matching Process as a Noncooperative Bargaining Game," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Information and Uncertainty, pages 233-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, June.
    3. Dale T. Mortensen, 1988. "Equilibrium Wage Distrihutions: A Synthesis," Discussion Papers 811, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    4. Bester, Helmut, 1994. "Price commitment in search markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 109-120, September.
    5. Peter Diamond, 1985. "Search Theory," Working papers 389, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    6. Ellingsen, Tore & Rosen, Åsa, 1994. "Skill or Luck? Search Frictions and Wage Differentials," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 1, Stockholm School of Economics.
    7. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
    8. repec:fth:harver:1517 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Albrecht, James W & Axell, Bo, 1984. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 824-840, October.
    10. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
    11. Kevin Lang, 1991. "Persistent Wage Dispersion and Involuntary Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 181-202.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brenzel, Hanna & Gartner, Hermann & Schnabel, Claus, 2014. "Wage bargaining or wage posting? Evidence from the employers' side," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 41-48.
    2. Zaharieva, Anna, 2013. "Social welfare and wage inequality in search equilibrium with personal contacts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 107-121.
    3. Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 2002. "The structure of wages in what should be a competitive labour market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20080, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Bengtsson, Niklas, 2011. "Regulation Failure and CO2-emissions: An Experimental Investigation of the Cape Town Taxi Market," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2011:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics, revised 12 Aug 2013.
    5. Strand, J., 1998. "Bargaining Versus Efficiency Wages in a Dynamic Labor Market: A Synthesis," Memorandum 22/1998, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    6. Claudio Michelacci & Javier Suarez, 2006. "Incomplete Wage Posting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1098-1123, December.
    7. Jon Strand, 2002. "Effects of Progressive Taxes under Decentralized Bargaining and Heterogeneous Labor," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(2), pages 195-210, March.
    8. Michaelis, Jochen & Birk, Angela, 2006. "Employment- and growth effects of tax reforms," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 909-925, December.
    9. Strand, Jon, 2000. "Wage bargaining and turnover costs with heterogeneous labor and asymmetric information1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 95-116, January.
    10. Rocheteau, Guillaume, 2002. "Working time regulation in a search economy with worker moral hazard," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 387-425, June.
    11. Hermann Gartner & Christian Holzner, 2015. "Wage Posting as a Positive Selection Device: Theory and Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 5494, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Manning, Alan, 2011. "Imperfect Competition in the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    13. Camera, G. & Delacroix, A., 2001. "Bargaining or Price Posting?," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1147, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
    14. Masui, Makoto, 2011. "Jobs with different wage determination mechanisms, social efficiency and unemployment," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 56-75, March.
    15. Masters, Adrian & Muthoo, Abhinay, 2003. "Ex Ante Price Commitment with Renegotiation in a Dynamic Market," Economics Discussion Papers 8861, University of Essex, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    WAGES ; HUMAN CAPITAL;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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