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The Assignment of Workers to Jobs In an Economy with Coordination Frictions

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  • Robert Shimer

Abstract

This paper studies the assignment of heterogeneous workers to heterogeneous jobs in the presence of coordination frictions. Firms offer human-capital-contingent wages, workers observe these and apply for a job. In a symmetric equilibrium, identical workers use identical mixed strategies in deciding where to apply, and the randomness introduced by mixed strategies generates equilibrium unemployment and vacancies. The equilibrium can be interpreted as the competitive equilibrium of a closely related model, ensuring constrained efficiency. The model generates a rich interaction between the heterogeneous workers and firms. Firms attract applications from multiple types of workers, and earn higher profits when they hire a more productive worker. Identical workers apply for jobs with different productivity and get higher wages when they land a more productive job. Despite this mismatch, I show that in some special cases, the model generates assortative matching, with a positive correlation between matched workers' and firms' productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs In an Economy with Coordination Frictions," NBER Working Papers 8501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8501
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
    2. Timothy N. Cason & Charles Noussair, 2007. "A Market With Frictions In The Matching Process: An Experimental Study," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 665-691, May.
    3. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1992. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 515-535.
    4. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    5. Erica L. Groshen, 1991. "Sources of Intra-Industry Wage Dispersion: How Much Do Employers Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 869-884.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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