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Commuting, Wages and Bargaining Power

  • Elena Stancanelli

    (Théorie économique, modélisation et applications (THEMA))

  • Peter Rupert

    (Department of economics (UCSB))

  • Etienne Wasmer

    (Département d'économie)

A search model of the labor market is augmented to include commuting time to work. The theory posits that wages are positively related to commute distance, by a factor itself depending negatively on the bargaining power of workers. Since not all combinations of distance and wages are accepted, there is non-random selection of accepted job offers. We build on these ingredients to explore in the data the relationship between wages and commute time . We find that neglecting to account for this selection will bias downward the wage impact of commuting, and marginally affect the coefficients on education, age and gender. The correlation between the residuals of the selectivity equation and the distance equation is -0.70, showing the large impact of commute time on job acceptance decisions. We also use the theory to calculate the bargaining power of workers which largely varies depending on demographic groups: it appears to be much larger for men than that for women and that the bargaining power of women with oung children is essentially zero.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number 2009-02.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/10031
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  1. Gautier, Pieter A. & Zenou, Yves, 2010. "Car ownership and the labor market of ethnic minorities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 392-403, May.
  2. van den Berg, Gerard J & Gorter, Cees, 1997. "Job Search and Commuting Time," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(2), pages 269-81, April.
  3. Manning, Alan, 2003. "The real thin theory: monopsony in modern labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 105-131, April.
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  5. Pieter A. Gautier & Yves Zenou, 2008. "Car ownership and the Labor Market of Ethnic Minorities," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-106/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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  11. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "Wage Bargaining with On-the-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00176090, HAL.
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  15. repec:inr:wpaper:150201 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. David Roodman, 2009. "Estimating Fully Observed Recursive Mixed-Process Models with cmp," Working Papers 168, Center for Global Development.
  17. Wasmer, Etienne & Zenou, Yves, 1999. "Does Space Affect Search? A Theory of Local Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Shihe Fu & Stephen L. Ross, 2010. "Wage Premia in Employment Clusters: Agglomeration or Worker Heterogeneity?," Working Papers 10-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  19. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz, 1992. "A Test of Negotiation and Incentive Compensation Models Using Longitudinal French Enterprise Data," NBER Working Papers 4044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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