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An Empirical Test of Reder Competition and Specific Human Capital Against Standard Wage Competition


  • Ludsteck, Johannes
  • Haupt, Harry


A firm that faces insufficient supply of labor can either increase the wage offer to attract more applicants, or reduce the hiring standard to enlarge the pool of potential employees, or do both. This simultaneous adjustment of wages and hiring standards has been emphasized in a classical contribution by Reder (1955) and implies that wage reactions to employment changes can be expected to be more pronounced for low wage workers than for high wage workers. We test this hypothesis (together with a related hypothesis on firm-specific human capital) by applying a bootstrap-based quantile regression approach to censored panel data from the German employment register. Our findings suggest that market clearing is achieved by a combination of wage and hiring standards adjustment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ludsteck, Johannes & Haupt, Harry, 2007. "An Empirical Test of Reder Competition and Specific Human Capital Against Standard Wage Competition," Discussion Papers in Economics 1977, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:1977

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2005. "The Wage Curve Reloaded," IZA Discussion Papers 1665, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    3. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25.
    4. Ammermüller, Andreas & Lucifora, Claudio & Origo, Federica & Zwick, Thomas, 2007. "Still searching for the wage curve: evidence from Germany and Italy," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-008, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Paul J . Devereux, 2002. "Occupational Upgrading and the Business Cycle," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 16(3), pages 423-452, September.
    6. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    7. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
    8. Bernd Fitzenberger & Aderonke Osikominu & Robert Völter, 2006. "Imputation Rules to Improve the Education Variable in the IAB Employment Subsample," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 126(3), pages 405-436.
    9. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 285-299, June.
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    11. Powell, James L., 1984. "Least absolute deviations estimation for the censored regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-325, July.
    12. Ekkehart Schlicht, 2005. "Hiring Standards And Labour Market Clearing," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 263-279, May.
    13. Devereux, Paul J, 2000. "Task Assignment over the Business Cycle," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 98-124, January.
    14. Simon C. Parker, 1999. "Income Inequality and the Business Cycle: A Survey of the Evidence and Some New Results," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 21(2), pages 201-225, January.
    15. Khan, Shakeeb & Powell, James L., 2001. "Two-step estimation of semiparametric censored regression models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 103(1-2), pages 73-110, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 2007. "Wage Dispersion, Over-Qualification, and Reder Competition," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 1, pages 1-22.
    2. Büttner, Thomas & Jacobebbinghaus, Peter & Ludsteck, Johannes, 2010. "Occupational upgrading and the business cycle in West Germany," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 4, pages 1-37.

    More about this item


    wage setting; hiring standards; wage structure; efficiency wages; panel quantile regression; censoring;

    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
    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models

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