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Wage Differentials, Discrimination and Efficiency

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  • Shouyong Shi

Abstract

In this paper I construct a search model of a large labor market in which workers are heterogeneous in productivity and (homogeneous) firms post wages and a ranking of workers to direct workers' search. I establish the following results. First, the wage differential is negatively related to productivity when the productivity differential is small, while a positive relationship emerges when the productivity differential is large. Second, as the productivity differential decreases to zero, the reverse wage differential increases and so it remains strictly positive in the limit. Third, high-productivity workers are not discriminated against even when they have a lower wage, because they always have a higher priority in employment and higher expected wage than low-productivity workers. Fourth, the equilibrium is socially efficient, and so the wage differential and the ranking are part of the efficient mechanism. Finally, I provide numerical examples to illustrate the wage distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Shouyong Shi, 2006. "Wage Differentials, Discrimination and Efficiency," Working Papers tecipa-189, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-189
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Audra J. Bowlus & Zvi Eckstein, 2002. "Discrimination and Skill Differences in an Equilibrium Search Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1309-1345, November.
    2. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
    3. Kevin Lang & Michael Manove & William T. Dickens, 2005. "Racial Discrimination in Labor Markets with Posted Wage Offers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1327-1340, September.
    4. Black, Dan A, 1995. "Discrimination in an Equilibrium Search Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 309-333, April.
    5. Benoit Julien & John Kennes & Ian King, 2000. "Bidding for Labor," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(4), pages 619-649, October.
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    7. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
    8. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-1454, September.
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    11. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    12. Shi, Shouyong, 2001. "Frictional Assignment. I. Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 232-260, June.
    13. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John Kennes, 2004. "Competitive Auctions: Theory and Application," CAM Working Papers 2004-17, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
    2. Cai, Xiaoming & Gautier, Pieter A. & Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2017. "Search frictions, competing mechanisms and optimal market segmentation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 453-473.
    3. Shi, Shouyong, 2016. "Customer relationship and sales," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 483-516.
    4. Mangin, Sephorah, 2017. "A theory of production, matching, and distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 376-409.
    5. Bünstorf, Guido & Krabel, Stefan, 2014. "Gender and Immigration: Double Negative Effects in the Labor Market Outcomes of University Graduates in Germany?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100290, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Kaas, Leo & Lu, Jun, 2010. "Equal-treatment policy in a random search model with taste discrimination," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 699-709, August.
    7. Philipp Kircher & Jan Eeckhout, 2008. "Prices as Optimal Competitive Sales Mechanisms," 2008 Meeting Papers 504, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Kaas, Leo & Zink, Stefan, 2011. "Human capital investment with competitive labor search," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 520-534, May.
    9. Merlino, Luca Paolo, 2012. "Discrimination, technology and unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 557-567.
    10. John Kennes & Daniel le Maire, 2010. "Coordination Frictions and Job Heterogeneity: A Discrete Time Analysis," Economics Working Papers 2010-05, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    11. Serena Rhee & Soojin Kim, 2016. "Measuring the Effects of Employment Protection Policies for the Disabled: Theory and Evidence from the Americans with Disabilities Act," Working Papers 201621, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    12. Kevin Lang & Michael Manove & William T. Dickens, 2005. "Racial Discrimination in Labor Markets with Posted Wage Offers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1327-1340, September.
    13. Xiaoming Cai & Pieter Gautier & Ronald Wolthoff, 2015. "Inclusive versus Exclusive Markets: Search Frictions and Competing Mechanisms," Working Papers tecipa-545, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    14. BI, Sheng & LI, Yuanyuan, 2015. "Holdup and hiring discrimination with search friction," MPRA Paper 65100, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2017. "Discrimination and Inequality in an Integrated Walrasian-General-Equilibrium and Neoclassical-Growth Theory," Asian Journal of Economic Modelling, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 5(1), pages 57-76, March.
    16. Bi, Sheng & Langot, François, 2014. "Search and Retirement under Asymmetric Information," IZA Discussion Papers 8288, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Search; Wage Differential; Discrimination.;

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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