Job-to-job quits and corporate culture
In a frictional labor market, when an employee receives an outside offer, his employer is naturally tempted to compete to retain him. Casual observation in the labor market, however, suggests that this type of ex post competition is rare. As a consequence, employers often let valuable employees go, and job-to-job quits represent a very large fraction of total employment reallocation in the macroeconomy. We propose the following explanation. Ex post competition between firms for an employed worker raises the worker's ex ante returns to on-the-job search (OJS), if only for pure rent-seeking purposes, i.e. just to get a raise. Firms may credibly commit to ignore outside offers to their employees, let them go without a counteroffer, and suffer the loss, in order to keep in line the other employees' incentives to not search on the job. This commitment perpetuates a coordination failure among co-workers: if they all started searching on the job at a level that would be optimal should the firm indeed compete ex post against poachers, the firm would indeed be helpless and would have to compete. Therefore, a transition to a "competitive corporate culture", where firms do compete ex post and worker search intensively on the job, appears irreversible. I study a version of Burdett and Mortensen (1998)'s OJS model where workers choose the intensity of OJS covertly, thus creating a moral hazard problem, and firms have no commitment power of any kind, so they cannot "post" wage contracts. I investigate the conditions for wage posting and no matching of outside offers to be a sequential, and unique Markov, equilibrium strategy, supported by the coordination failure among co-workers. In this type of equilibrium, I find that a sufficiently steep marginal cost of OJS effort can give rise to a declining right tail in the wage distribution even if firms are identical
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
|Date of creation:||2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed004:38. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.