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Efficient Learning, Job Turnover and Wage Dispersion

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  • Fei Li

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

This paper studies the aggregate consequences of individual learning in the labor market. Specifically, I examine this issue in a model of directed search on the job. Once matched, a firm-worker pair gradually learns the match-specific quality, taking the history of realized production as signals. Heterogeneity in beliefs about the match quality and in the job search behavior of workers naturally occurs, resulting from a variety of individual histories. I describe the efficient learning and searching strategy and implement the efficient allocations through a market mechanism in which the labor contract depends deterministically on tenure. Consistent with the stylized facts, the model successfully predicts the tenure effect on both the job separation rate and the probability of on-the-job search, and when search frictions are small, the model generates a dispersed wage distribution with a at tail, along the lines of observations.

Suggested Citation

  • Fei Li, 2011. "Efficient Learning, Job Turnover and Wage Dispersion," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-040, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:11-040
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    File URL: https://economics.sas.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/filevault/11-040_0.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Francisco M. Gonzalez & Shouyong Shi, 2010. "An Equilibrium Theory of Learning, Search, and Wages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 509-537, March.
    2. Bergemann, Dirk & Valimaki, Juuso, 1996. "Learning and Strategic Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1125-1149, September.
    3. Felli, Leonardo & Harris, Christopher, 1996. "Learning, Wage Dynamics, and Firm-Specific Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 838-868, August.
    4. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2011. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 468-510.
    5. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2009. "Occupational Mobility and Wage Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 731-759.
    6. Menzio, Guido & Shi, Shouyong, 2010. "Block recursive equilibria for stochastic models of search on the job," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(4), pages 1453-1494, July.
    7. Giuseppe Moscarini, 2005. "Job Matching and the Wage Distribution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 481-516, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Zhijian & Liu, Yuanwei & He, Bao-Jie & Xu, Wei & Jin, Guangya & Zhang, Xutao, 2019. "Application and suitability analysis of the key technologies in nearly zero energy buildings in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 329-345.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Learning; Directed Search; Block Recursive Equilibrium; Turnover; Wage Dispersion;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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