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Labor Market Dynamics: A Model of Search and Human Capital Accumulation

  • Gregory Veramendi

    (Northwestern University)

Informed by new measurements of labor market dynamics, I develop and estimate an equilibrium search model of worker mobility. I first describe new facts about the dynamics of wages across unemployment spells in Denmark. This implies that the job-ladder search model cannot by itself explain all the observed movements of workers between firms. I construct a new model of worker mobility which combines search and human capital accumulation. Workers in the model accumulate skills via learning-by-doing which has decreasing returns for a given job. Workers must either be promoted or find a job at a new firm in order to continue learning new skills. I show that by including this incentive to change jobs, career development not only helps explain wage dispersion, but also contributes to a more complete understanding of labor market dynamics. I structurally estimate the job-ladder search model using matched employer-employee data from Denmark. The estimates show that the job-ladder search model explains less than 10% of the worker mobility seen in the data. In addition, worker heterogeneity explains about 65% of the wage variance for college graduates and about 45% for all other workers.

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File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2012/paper_1059.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 1059.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:1059
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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  1. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  2. Jesper Bagger & François Fontaine & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2014. "Tenure, Experience, Human Capital and Wages: A Tractable Equilibrium Search Model of Wage Dynamics," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7rep5mp5ij9, Sciences Po.
  3. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877.
  4. Asher Wolinsky, 1996. "A Theory of the Firm with Non-Binding Employment Contracts," Discussion Papers 1166, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Dale T. Mortensen, 2005. "Wage Dispersion: Why Are Similar Workers Paid Differently?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633191.
  6. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09j0045h4bh is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Mary Corcoran & Greg J. Duncan, 1979. "Work History, Labor Force Attachment, and Earnings Differences between the Races and Sexes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 3-20.
  8. Bunzel, H. & Christensen, B.J. & Kiefer, N.M. & Korsholm, L., 1999. "Equilibrium Search with Human Capital Accumulation," Papers 99-11, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
  9. Albrecht, J & Edin, P-A & Sundstrom, M & Vroman, S-B, 1996. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earning : A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Papers 1996-23, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  10. Mary Corcoran & Greg J. Duncan & Michael Ponza, 1983. "A Longitudinal Analysis of White Women's Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(4), pages 497-520.
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