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Reservation Wages and Labor Supply

Author

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  • Kesternich, Iris
  • Schumacher, H.
  • Siflinger, Bettina

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • Valder, Franziska

Abstract

Survey measures of the reservation wage reflect both the consumption-leisure trade-off and job search concerns (the arrival rate of job offers and the wage distribution). We examine what a survey measure of the reservation wage reveals about labor supply when search concerns are absent. To this end, we combine the reservation wage measure from a large labor market survey with the reservation wage for a one-hour job that we elicit in an online experiment. The two measures show a strong positive association. For unemployed individuals, the experimental reservation wage increases on average by around one Euro for every Euro increase in the survey measure. For employed individuals, the association between the two measures is weaker, but still positive and statistically significant. We show that these results are robust to selection into the experiment, and that demographic variables have a similar influence on both reservation wage measures.
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Suggested Citation

  • Kesternich, Iris & Schumacher, H. & Siflinger, Bettina & Valder, Franziska, 2018. "Reservation Wages and Labor Supply," Discussion Paper 2018-054, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:70120e32-12f5-447b-baa5-c121cc0ab693
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert E. Hall & Andreas I. Mueller, 2018. "Wage Dispersion and Search Behavior: The Importance of Nonwage Job Values," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1594-1637.
    2. Koenig, Felix & Manning, Alan & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2014. "Reservation wages and the wage flexibility puzzle," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60613, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    5. Caliendo, Marco & Lee, Wang-Sheng & Mahlstedt, Robert, 2017. "The gender wage gap and the role of reservation wages: New evidence for unemployed workers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 161-173.
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    10. Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Reservation Wages and Their Labor Market Effects for Black and White Male Youth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(2), pages 157-177.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    reservation wages; labor supply; search; validation of survey measures;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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