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Cherry-Picking in Labor Market with Imperfect Information

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  • Feng, Shuaizhang

    (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics)

  • Zheng, Bingyong

    (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics)

Abstract

We study a competitive labor market with imperfect information. In our basic model, the labor market consists of heterogeneous workers and ex ante identical firms who have only imperfect private information about workers' productivities. Firms compete by posting wages in order to cherry-pick more productive workers from the applicant pool. The model predicts many important empirical regularities, including non-degenerated firm size distribution, persistent wage dispersion, and employer size-wage premium. We also consider extensions of the model where firms differ in either productivity or information about worker types, both generating assortative matching with a positive but imperfect correlation of worker and firm types. The main insight of this paper is that identical workers can get different wages depending on productivities of their coworkers in a competitive market with informational frictions. Our model also sheds light on inter-industry wage differential and sorting between industry and worker characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Feng, Shuaizhang & Zheng, Bingyong, 2009. "Cherry-Picking in Labor Market with Imperfect Information," IZA Discussion Papers 4309, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4309
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Feng, Shuaizhang & Zheng, Bingyong, 2010. "Imperfect Information, On-the-Job Training, and the Employer Size-Wage Puzzle: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 4998, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Cai, Hongbin & Wang, Miaojun & Yan, Se, 2014. "Why Do Large Firms Willingly Pay High Wages in Developing Countries?," MPRA Paper 53538, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    imperfect information; cherry-picking; wage dispersion; size-wage premium; inter-industry wage differential;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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