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Job Search and the Age-Inequality Profile

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  • Petra Marotzke

    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Petra Marotzke, 2014. "Job Search and the Age-Inequality Profile," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2014-06, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1406
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    Cited by:

    1. Karsten Wasiluk, 2014. "Technology Adoption and Demographic Change," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2014-05, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Search Frictions; Wage Dispersion; Life Cycle; Wage Bargaining;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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