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Alternative Theories of Wage Dispersion

  • Damien Gaumont

    ()

    (Universite Pantheon-Assas (Paris II))

  • Martin Schindler

    ()

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Randall Wright

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

We analyze labor market models where the law of one price does not hold; i.e., models with equilibrium wage dispersion. We begin assuming workers are ex ante heterogeneous, and highlight a flaw with this approach: if search is costly, the market shuts down. We then assume workers are homogeneous but matches are ex post heterogeneous. This model is robust to search costs, and delivers equilibria equilibrium wage dispersion. However, we prove the law of two prices holds: generically we cannot get more than two wages. We explore several other models, including one combining ex ante and ex post heterogeneity; this model is robust, and can deliver more than two-point wage distributions.

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Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 05-017.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 23 Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:05-017
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  1. Eckstein, Zvi & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2004. "Empirical Labour Search: A Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 4199, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Albrecht, James W & Axell, Bo, 1984. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 824-40, October.
  3. Adrian M. Masters, . "Wage Posting in Two-sided Search and the Minimum Wage," Economics Discussion Papers 457, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  4. Gerard J. van den Berg, 1998. "Empirical Inference with Equilibrium Search Models of the Labor Market," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-089/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Damien Gaumont & Martin Schindler & Randall Wright, 2005. "Alternative Theories of Wage Dispersion," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-017, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  6. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
  7. Diamond, Peter, 1987. "Consumer Differences and Prices in a Search Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 429-36, May.
  8. Albrecht, James W & Vroman, Susan B, 1998. "Nash Equilibrium Efficiency Wage Distributions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 183-203, February.
  9. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Elisabeth Curtis & Randall Wright, 2002. "Price setting, price dispersion, and the value of money - or - The law of two prices," Working Paper 0209, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  11. P. Diamond, 1980. "Mobility Costs, Frictional Unemployment and Efficiency," Working papers 257, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Ricardo Lagos, 2000. "An Alternative Approach to Search Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 851-873, October.
  13. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1990. "Estimating a Market Equilibrium Search Model from Panel Data on Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 783-808, July.
  14. Albrecht, James W & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1986. "The Efficiency of Search under Competition and Monopsony," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1246-57, December.
  15. Eckstein, Zvi & Mortensen, Dale T., 2006. "Labor search," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 807-810, May.
  16. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  17. Kenneth Burdett & Randall Wright, 1994. "Two-sided search," Staff Report 169, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. MacMinn, Richard D, 1980. "Job Search and the Labor Dropout Problem Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 69-87, August.
  19. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  20. Gaumont Damien & Schindler Martin & Wright Randall, 2006. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion: An Example," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-18, October.
  21. Albrecht, James W & Vroman, Susan B, 1992. "Non-existence of Single-Wage Equilibria in Search Models with Adverse Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 617-24, July.
  22. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
  23. Gerard J. van den Berg & Geert Ridder, 1998. "An Empirical Equilibrium Search Model of the Labor Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1183-1222, September.
  24. Jafarey, Saqib & Masters, Adrian, 2003. " Output, Prices, and the Velocity of Money in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 871-88, December.
  25. Kenneth Burdett & Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2003. "Crime, Inequality, and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1764-1777, December.
  26. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  27. Gerard J. van den Berg, 1998. "Empirical Inference with Equilibrium Search Models of the Labor Market," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-089/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  28. Rob, Rafael, 1985. "Equilibrium Price Distributions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 487-504, July.
  29. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  30. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
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