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Strategic Wage Setting and Coordination Frictions with Multiple Applications

  • Gautier, Pieter A.

    ()

    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Moraga-González, José L.

    ()

    (University of Groningen)

We examine wage competition in a model where identical workers choose the number of jobs to apply for and identical firms simultaneously post a wage. The Nash equilibrium of this game exhibits the following properties: (i) an equilibrium where workers apply for just one job exhibits unemployment and absence of wage dispersion; (ii) an equilibrium where workers apply for two or for more (but not for all) jobs always exhibits wage dispersion and, typically, unemployment; (iii) the equilibrium wage distribution with a higher vacancy-to-unemployment ratio first-order stochastically dominates the wage distribution with a lower level of labor market tightness; (iv) the average wage is non-monotonic in the number of applications; (v) the equilibrium number of applications is non-monotonic in the vacancy-to-unemployment ratio; (vi) a minimum wage increase can be welfare improving because it compresses the wage distribution and reduces the congestion effects caused by the socially excessive number of applications; and (vii) the only way to obtain efficiency is to impose a mandatory wage that eliminates wage dispersion altogether.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1260.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1260
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  1. Albrecht, James & Gautier, Pieter A. & Vroman, Susan, 2003. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Applications," IZA Discussion Papers 719, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  4. Maarten C. W. Janssen & José Luis Moraga-González, 2004. "Strategic Pricing, Consumer Search and the Number of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1089-1118, October.
  5. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 2000. "Wage and Technology Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 585-607, October.
  6. Albrecht, James W. & Gautier, Pieter A. & Vroman, Susan B., 2003. "Matching with multiple applications," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 67-70, January.
  7. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  8. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
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