IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions


  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Robert Shimer


A natural holdup problem arises in a market with search frictions: firms have to make a range of investments before finding their employees, and larger investments translate into higher wages. In particular, when wages are determined by ex post bargaining, the equilibrium is always inefficient: recognizing that capital-intensive production relations have to pay higher wages, firms reduce their investments. This can only be prevented by removing all the bargaining power from the workers, but this, in turn, depresses wages below their social product and creates excessive entry of firms. In contrast to this benchmark, we show that efficiency is achieved when firms post wages and workers can direct their search toward more attractive offers. This efficiency result generalizes to an environment with imperfect information where workers only observe a few of the equilibrium wage offers. We show that the underlying reason for efficiency is not wage posting per se, but the ability of workers to direct their search toward more capital-intensive jobs. Copyright 1999 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1998. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," Working papers 98-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:98-14

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:98-14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Linda Woodbury (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.