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Wage Formation between Newly Hired Workers and Employers: Survey Evidence

Author

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  • Robert E. Hall

    (Stanford University)

  • Alan B. Krueger

    (Princeton University and NBER)

Abstract

Some workers bargain with prospective employers before accepting a job. Others could bargain, but find it undesirable, because their right to bargain has induced a sufficiently favorable offer, which they accept. Yet others perceive that they cannot bargain over pay; they regard the posted wage as a take-it-or-leave-it opportunity. Theories of wage formation point to substantial differences in labor-market equilibrium between bargained and posted wages. The fraction of workers hired away from existing jobs is another key determinant of equilibrium, because a worker with an existing job has a better outside option in bargaining than does an unemployed worker. Our survey measures the incidences of wage posting, bargaining, and on-the-job search. We find that about a third of workers had precise information about pay when they first met with their employers, a sign of wage posting. We find that another third bargained over pay before accepting their current jobs. And about 40 percent of workers could have remained on their earlier jobs at the time they accepted their current jobs.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert E. Hall & Alan B. Krueger, 2008. "Wage Formation between Newly Hired Workers and Employers: Survey Evidence," Working Papers 1095, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:534
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Zaharieva, Anna, 2013. "Social welfare and wage inequality in search equilibrium with personal contacts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 107-121.
    3. 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.
    4. Guido Menzio & Irina Telyukova & Ludo Visschers, 2016. "Directed Search over the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 19, pages 38-62, January.
    5. Andrew Shephard, 2011. "Equilibrium Search and Tax Credit Reform," Working Papers 1336, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    6. Vera Brenčič, 2012. "Wage posting: evidence from job ads," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 45(4), pages 1529-1559, November.
    7. 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.
    8. Galuscak, Kamil & Keeney, Mary & Nicolitsas, Daphne & Smets, Frank & Strzelecki, Pawel & Vodopivec, Matija, 2012. "The determination of wages of newly hired employees: Survey evidence on internal versus external factors," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 802-812.
    9. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "Comment on "The Timing of Labor Market Expansions: New Facts and a New Hypothesis"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 53-58, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Brencic, Vera & Norris, John B., 2010. "Do employers change job offers in their online job ads to facilitate search?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 46-48, July.
    11. Francisco M. Gonzalez & Shouyong Shi, 2010. "An Equilibrium Theory of Learning, Search, and Wages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 509-537, March.
    12. Ronald P. Wolthoff, 2010. "Applications and Interviews: A Structural Analysis of Two-Sided Simultaneous Search," Working Papers tecipa-418, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    13. Manning, Alan, 2011. "Imperfect Competition in the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 11, pages 973-1041, Elsevier.
    14. Julien, Benoît & Roger, Guillaume, 2018. "Bidding for incentive contracts," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 95-105.
    15. Philippe Cyrenne, 2013. "Player Salaries, Player Mobility and the Invariance Principle: Evidence from the National Hockey League," Departmental Working Papers 2013-04, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.
    16. Fei Li & Xi Weng, 2017. "Efficient Learning And Job Turnover In The Labor Market," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58(3), pages 727-750, August.
    17. Rogerson, Richard & Shimer, Robert, 2011. "Search in Macroeconomic Models of the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 7, pages Pages: 61, Elsevier.
    18. Andrew Shephard, 2017. "Equilibrium Search And Tax Credit Reform," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1047-1088, November.
    19. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2011. "Do Frictions Matter in the Labor Market? Accessions, Separations, and Minimum Wage Effects," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt4t3342nd, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    20. Mikhail Golosov & Pricila Maziero & Guido Menzio, 2013. "Taxation and Redistribution of Residual Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(6), pages 1160-1204.
    21. Jacek GRODZICKI, 2020. "Pay Transparency From A Young Employee'S Perspective In Poland," Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, Faculty of Sciences, "1 Decembrie 1918" University, Alba Iulia, vol. 2(22), pages 47-52.
    22. Silvio Sticher, 2013. "Selection upon Wage Posting," Diskussionsschriften dp1311, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    23. Menzio, Guido & Telyukova, Irina A. & Visschers, Ludo, 2015. "Directed Search over the Life Cycle," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-48, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    24. Shouyong Shi & Gaston Chaumont, 2017. "Wealth Accumulation, On the Job Search and Inequality," 2017 Meeting Papers 128, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wages; bargaining; search; posted wages;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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