IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Job Search and the Age-Inequality Profile

  • Petra Marotzke


    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

Registered author(s):

    In line with earlier literature, I document a U-shaped relationship between age and wage dispersion in the U.S.. To explain this outcome, I consider a life-cycle model of labor market search with strategic wage bargaining, heterogeneous firm-worker matches, and endogenous search effort. Three factors shape the age-inequality profile of wages in the model economy: the time until retirement, match heterogeneity, and the workers’ bargaining power. Young workers switch employers often and are gradually matched to better jobs, which leads to the initial reduction in the variance of log wages. Middle-aged and older workers switch employers less frequently and have a longer search history. As workers are differently successful in the labor market, the variance of match productivities rises in the second half of the working life. The calibrated model captures the U-shape of the age-inequality profile of wages in conjunction with the hump-shaped age profile of average wages, as well as employment-to-employment transitions that decrease with age.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Konstanz in its series Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz with number 2014-06.

    in new window

    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: 04 Mar 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1406
    Contact details of provider: Postal: D-78457 Konstanz
    Phone: +49-7531-88-3713
    Fax: +49-7531-88-3130
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "Wage Bargaining with On-the-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00176090, HAL.
    2. Lentz, Rasmus, 2010. "Sorting by search intensity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(4), pages 1436-1452, July.
    3. Solomon Polachek, 2003. "Mincer's Overtaking Point and the Life Cycle Earnings Distribution," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 273-304, December.
    4. Topel, Robert H & Ward, Michael P, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-79, May.
    5. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2009. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 14905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Arnaud Chéron & Jean-Olivier Hairault & François Langot, 2013. "Life Cycle Equilibrium Unemployment," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00759471, HAL.
    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. repec:inr:wpaper:155908 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2010. "Job Search, Bargaining, and Wage Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 595-631, 07.
    10. Jesper Bagger & François Fontaine & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2011. "Tenure, Experience, Human Capital and Wages: A Tractable Equilibrium Search Model of Wage Dynamics," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompq, Sciences Po.
    11. Philip Jung, 2013. "Earnings losses and labor mobility over the lifecycle," 2013 Meeting Papers 771, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
    13. Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3548, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris & Yaron, Amir, 2002. "Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle," Seminar Papers 702, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    15. Melvyn Coles & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela & Ken Burdett, 2008. "Human Capital Accumulation and Labor Market Equilibrium," 2008 Meeting Papers 1088, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1998. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," CEPR Discussion Papers 1833, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Tjaden, Volker & Wellschmied, Felix, 2012. "Exploring the Causes of Frictional Wage Dispersion," IZA Discussion Papers 6299, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Ludo Visschers & Irina A. Telyukova & Guido Menzio, 2010. "Directed Search over the Life Cycle," 2010 Meeting Papers 185, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Espen R. Moen & Asa Rosén, 2004. "Does Poaching Distort Training?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1143-1162, October.
    20. Deaton, Angus & Paxson, Christina, 1994. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 437-67, June.
    21. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2011. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2923-54, December.
    22. Etienne Wasmer, 2006. "General versus Specific Skills in Labor Markets with Search Frictions and Firing Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 811-831, June.
    23. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Todd, Petra E., 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," IZA Discussion Papers 775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    24. Hahn, Volker, 2009. "Search, unemployment, and age," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1361-1378, June.
    25. Christensen, Bent Jesper & Mortensen, Dale & Neumann, George R. & Werwatz, Axel, 2000. "On the job search and the wage distribution," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2000,108, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    26. Ken Burdett & Melvyn Coles, 2003. "Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1377-1404, 09.
    27. Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2010. "Distance to Retirement and Older Workers' Employment: The Case for Delaying the Retirement Age," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1034-1076, 09.
    28. Giovanni L. Violante & Per Krusell & Andreas Hornstein, 2006. "Frictional wage dispersion in search models: a quantitative assessment," Working Paper 06-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    29. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, December.
    30. Dooley, Martin D & Gottschalk, Peter, 1984. "Earnings Inequality among Males in the United States: Trends and the Effect of Labor Force Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 59-89, February.
    31. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1406. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dr. Lisa Green)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.