Wage distributions and wage dynamics in Europe and the US : lessons from a simple job search model
Job search models of the labor market establish a very tight correspondance between the determinants of labor turnover and individual wage dynamics on one hand, and the determinants of wage dispersion on the other. This paper offers a systematic examination of wether this correspondance is present in the data by estimating a rudimentary partial equilibrium job search model on the ECHP database, from which we extract a 1996-1999 panel of individual worker data from 12 different European countries. We find that our basic job search model fits the data surprisingly well. This also allows us to point a number of interesting emprirical regularities about wage distributions. Finally, our results suggest that cross-sectional data on individual wages contain the basic information needed to obtain reliable estimates of the "search frictions" parameters of a canonical job search model.
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