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. Guido Menzio & Irina A. Telyukova & Ludo Visschers, 2012. "Directed Search over the Life Cycle," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-002, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Moen, Espen R & Rosén, Åsa, 2002. "Does Poaching Distort Training?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3468, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. 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.
    4. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2003. "Wage Bargaining with On-The-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 4154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. 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.
    6. Jesper Bagger & Fran?ois Fontaine & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2014. "Tenure, Experience, Human Capital, and Wages: A Tractable Equilibrium Search Model of Wage Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1551-96, June.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," NBER Working Papers 9732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2010. "Job Search, Bargaining, and Wage Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 595-631, 07.
    11. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1993. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 4328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Arnaud Ch�ron & Jean-Olivier Hairault & Fran�ois Langot, 2013. "Life-Cycle Equilibrium Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(4), pages 843 - 882.
    13. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
    14. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2009. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 14905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Philip Jung, 2013. "Earnings losses and labor mobility over the lifecycle," 2013 Meeting Papers 771, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Christopher I. & Yaron, Amir, 2004. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 609-633, April.
    17. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2007. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," NBER Working Papers 13224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. repec:inr:wpaper:155908 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. 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.
    22. Ken Burdett & Melvyn Coles, 2003. "Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1377-1404, 09.
    23. 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.
    24. Melvyn Coles & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela & Ken Burdett, 2008. "Human Capital Accumulation and Labor Market Equilibrium," 2008 Meeting Papers 1088, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    25. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," NBER Working Papers 6357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2008. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-010, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 28 Feb 2009.
    27. Tjaden, Volker & Wellschmied, Felix, 2012. "Exploring the Causes of Frictional Wage Dispersion," IZA Discussion Papers 6299, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    28. 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.
    29. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, July.
    30. Bent Jesper Christensen & Rasmus Lentz & Dale T. Mortensen & George R. Neumann & Axel Werwatz, 2005. "On-the-Job Search and the Wage Distribution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 31-58, January.
    31. Lentz, Rasmus, 2010. "Sorting by search intensity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(4), pages 1436-1452, July.
    32. Hahn, Volker, 2009. "Search, unemployment, and age," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1361-1378, June.
    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.