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Retained Earnings Dynamic, Internal Promotions And Walrasian Equilibrium

  • Pablo F. Beker

    ()

    (Universidad de Alicante)

In the early stages of the process of industry evolution, firms are financially constrained and pay different wages because workers have heterogeneous expectations about the prospects for advancement offered by each firm's job ladder. This paper argues that, nevertheless, if the output market is competitive, the positive predictions of the perfectly competitive model are still a good description of the long run outcome. If firms maximize the discounted sum of constrained profits, financing expenditure out of retained earnings, profits are driven down to zero as the perfectly competitive model predicts. Ex ante identical firms may follow different growth paths in which workers work for a lower entry-wage in firms expected to grow more. In the steady state, however, workers performing the same job, in ex-ante identical firms, receive the same wage. I explain when the long run outcome is efficient, when it is not, and why firms that produce inefficiently might drive the efficient ones out of the market even when the steady state has the positive properties of a Walrasian equilibrium. To some extent, it is not technological efficiency but workers' self-fulfilling expectations about their prospects for advancement within the firm what explains which firms have lower unit costs, grow more and dominate the market.

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File URL: http://www.ivie.es/downloads/docs/wpasad/wpasad-2004-14.pdf
File Function: Fisrt version / Primera version, 2004
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Paper provided by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie AD with number 2004-14.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by Ivie
Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2004-14
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  1. Beker, Pablo F., 2004. "Are inefficient entrepreneurs driven out of the market?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 329-344, February.
  2. Beker, Pablo F., 2008. "Retained earnings dynamic, internal promotions and Walrasian equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 114-156, March.
  3. Sidney G. Winter, 1964. "Economic "Natural Selection" and the Theory of the Firm," LEM Chapters Series, in: Yale Economic Essays, pages 225-272 Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  4. Dan Bernhardt & David Scoones, 1991. "Promotion: Turnover and Preemptive Wage Offers," Working Papers 817, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Winter, Sidney G, 1971. "Satisficing, Selection, and the Innovating Remnant," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 237-61, May.
  6. Lawrence E. Blume & David Easley, 1997. "Optimality and Natural Selection in Markets," GE, Growth, Math methods 9712003, EconWPA, revised 09 Jul 1998.
  7. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  8. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 1635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Feldman, Mark & Gilles, Christian, 1985. "An expository note on individual risk without aggregate uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 26-32, February.
  10. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
  11. Malcomson, James M, 1984. "Work Incentives, Hierarchy, and Internal Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 486-507, June.
  12. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
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