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Sticky wages, labor demand elasticity and rational unemployment

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  • Chen, Siyan
  • Desiderio, Saul

Abstract

In this paper we give a clear-cut explanation to the sluggish wage adjustments which are commonly experienced also in face of involuntary unemployment. We prove that unemployment may be the physiological outcome of rational decisions by competing workers who may find it optimal to ask higher wages than the full-employment ones. The key element driving the result is the slope (or elasticity) of labor demand schedule: in case of rigid labor demand, in fact, workers’ wage requests are kept high because of reduced unemployment opportunity costs. This contrasts with other approaches to the analysis of unemployment, where only the level of labor demand is considered. Impatience of working and effort required by the job are also showed to influence the degree of wage stickiness.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Siyan & Desiderio, Saul, 2014. "Sticky wages, labor demand elasticity and rational unemployment," MPRA Paper 53260, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:53260
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-113, May.
    2. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-894, October.
    3. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
    4. James D. Montgomery, 1991. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion and Interindustry Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 163-179.
    5. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sticky wages; involuntary unemployment; labor demand elasticity; game theory;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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