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Minimally Altruistic Wages and Unemployment in a Matching Model

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  • Julio J. Rotemberg

Abstract

This paper presents a model in which firms recruit both unemployed and employed workers by posting vacancies. Firms act monopsonistically and set wages to retain their existing workers as well as to attract new ones. The model differs from Burdett and Mortensen (1998) in that its assumptions ensure that there is an equilibrium where all firms pay the same wage. The paper analyzes the response of this wage to exogenous changes in the marginal revenue product of labor. The paper finds parameters for which the response of wages is modest relative to the response of employment, as appears to be the case in U.S. data and shows that the insistence by workers that firms act with a minimal level of altruism can be a source of dampened wage responses. The paper also considers a setting where this minimal level of altruism is subject to fluctuations and shows that, for certain parameters, the model can explain both the standard deviations of employment and wages and the correlation between these two series over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Julio J. Rotemberg, 2008. "Minimally Altruistic Wages and Unemployment in a Matching Model," NBER Working Papers 13755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13755
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    Cited by:

    1. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Kurmann, André, 2010. "The business cycle implications of reciprocity in labor relations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 837-850, October.
    2. Rotemberg, Julio J., 2008. "Minimally altruistic wages and unemployment in a matching model with monopsony," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages 97-110, October.
    3. John C. Driscoll & Steinar Holden, 2014. "Behavioral Economics and Macroeconomic Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 4785, CESifo.
    4. Driscoll, John C. & Holden, Steinar, 2014. "Behavioral economics and macroeconomic models," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 133-147.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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