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Exploring the Causes of Frictional Wage Dispersion

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  • Tjaden, Volker

    () (University of Bonn)

  • Wellschmied, Felix

    () (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Abstract

Standard search models are unreliable for structural inference of the underlying sources of wage inequality because they are inconsistent with observed residual wage dispersion. We address this issue by modeling skill development and duration dependence in unemployment benefits in a random on the job search model featuring two-sided heterogeneity. General human capital and search on the job are the main drivers behind our model's empirical success in replicating wage dispersion (residual and overall). A realistic quantitative appraisal of search efficiencies needs to account for one third of job to job transitions resulting in wage losses. Controlling for them has important implications for the inferred sources of wage inequality. We find that the search friction accounts for around 18 percent of observed wage inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Tjaden, Volker & Wellschmied, Felix, 2012. "Exploring the Causes of Frictional Wage Dispersion," IZA Discussion Papers 6299, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6299
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Wages, Experience and Seniority," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 77-108.
    2. Jolivet, Gregory & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2006. "The empirical content of the job search model: Labor mobility and wage distributions in Europe and the US," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 877-907, May.
    3. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & Van den Berg, Gerard J, 1999. "An Empirical Equilibrium Job Search Model with Search on the Job and Heterogeneous Workers and Firms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1039-1074, November.
    4. James Mabli & Christopher Flinn, 2007. "On-the-Job Search, Minimum Wages, and Labor Market Outcomes in an Equilibrium Bargaining Framework," 2007 Meeting Papers 791, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
    6. Kenneth Burdett & Carlos Carrillo‐Tudela & Melvyn G. Coles, 2011. "Human Capital Accumulation And Labor Market Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(3), pages 657-677, August.
    7. Bruce C. Fallick & Charles A. Fleischman, 2004. "Employer-to-employer flows in the U.S. labor market: the complete picture of gross worker flows," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Ken Burdett & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela & Melvyn Coles, 2015. "Wage Inequality," Working Papers 2015-42, Peruvian Economic Association.
    9. Giuseppe Moscarini, 2005. "Job Matching and the Wage Distribution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 481-516, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tamas Papp, 2013. "Frictional wage dispersion with Bertrand competition: an assessment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 540-552, July.
    2. Marotzke, Petra, 2013. "Job Search and the Age-Inequality Profile," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80007, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    heterogeneity; frictional wage dispersion; search model;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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