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Directed Search without Wage Commitment and the Role of Labor Market Institutions

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  • Adrian Masters

Abstract

An urn-ball matching model of directed search is analyzed in which the usual assumption of commitment to posted wages is dropped. One-on-one matches lead to a Nash bargained wage but when multiple applicants arrive competition drives the workers down to their continuation value. A minimum wage can act as a commitment device when (as in the USA) willful underpayment carries a stiffer penalty than "inadvertetn underpayment. The theory sheds new light on why firms appear to voluntarily bind themselves into paying higher wages than they would otherwise pay. Robustness to various sources of heterogeneity is considered

Suggested Citation

  • Adrian Masters, 2005. "Directed Search without Wage Commitment and the Role of Labor Market Institutions," Discussion Papers 05-02, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:05-02
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    File URL: http://www.albany.edu/economics/research/workingp/2005/commitment.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard Rogerson & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2004. "Search-Theoretic Models of the Labor Market-A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
    3. Julien, Benoit & Kennes, John & King, Ian, 2006. "The Mortensen rule and efficient coordination unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 149-155, February.
    4. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Bargaining and Markets," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000515, UCLA Department of Economics.
    5. Moen, Espen R, 2002. "Do Good Workers Hurt Bad Workers - or is it the Other Way Around?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3471, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. James Albrecht & Pieter A. Gautier & Susan Vroman, 2006. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 869-891.
    7. Ashenfelter, Orley & Smith, Robert S, 1979. "Compliance with the Minimum Wage Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 333-350, April.
    8. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
    9. B. Petrongolo & Z. Eckstein & S. Ge, 2005. "Minimum Wage and Compliance in a Model of Search On-the-Job," 2005 Meeting Papers 76, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Masters, Adrian M, 1999. "Wage Posting in Two-Sided Search and the Minimum Wage," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 809-826, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew Doyle & Jacob Wong, 2013. "Wage Posting Without Full Commitment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(2), pages 231-252, April.
    2. Alexiadis, Stilianos & Eleftheriou, Konstantinos & Nijkamp, Peter, 2013. "Technology adoption within a search model: Evidence from OECD countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 137-148.

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