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Equilibrium wage dispersion with worker and employer heterogeneity

Author

Listed:
  • Fabien Postel-Vinay

    (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE Paris - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, LEA - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Department of Economics - UCL - University College of London [London], PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, Departement of Economics - University of Bristol - University of Bristol [Bristol], ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - Institute for the Study of Labor, DELTA - Département et Laboratoire d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, INRA)

  • Jean-Marc Robin

    (UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Abstract

We construct and estimate an equilibrium search model with on–the–job–search. Firms make take–it–or–leave–it wage offers to workers conditional on their characteristics and they can respond to the outside job offers received by their employees. Unobserved worker productive heterogeneity is introduced in the form of cross–worker differences in a "competence" parameter. On the other side of the market, firms also are heterogeneous with respect to their marginal productivity of labor. The model delivers a theory of steady–state wage dispersion driven by heterogenous worker abilities and firm productivities, as well as by matching frictions. The structural model is estimated using matched employer and employee French panel data. The exogenous distributions of worker and firm heterogeneity components are nonparametrically estimated. We use this structural estimation to provide a decomposition of cross–employee wage variance. We find that the share of the cross–sectional wage variance that is explained by person effects varies across skill groups. Specifically, this share lies close to 40% for high–skilled white collars, and quickly decreases to 0% as the observed skill level decreases. The contribution of market imperfections to wage dispersion is typically around 50%.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium wage dispersion with worker and employer heterogeneity," Post-Print hal-03587660, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-03587660
    DOI: 10.1111/1468-0262.00377
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-sciencespo.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03587660
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    References listed on IDEAS

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