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Directed Search for Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts

  • Shouyong Shi

I analyze the equilibrium in a labor market where firms offer wage-tenure contracts to direct the search of employed and unemployed workers. Each applicant observes all offers and there is no coordination among individuals. Workers' applications (as well as firms' recruiting decisions) are optimal. This optimality requires the equilibrium to be formulated differently from the that in the literature of undirected search. I provide such a formulation and show that the equilibrium exists. In the equilibrium, individuals explicitly tradeoff between an offer and the matching rate at that offer. This tradeoff yields a unique offer which is optimal for each worker to apply, and applicants are separated endogenously according to their current values. Despite such uniqueness and separation, there is a non-degenerate and continuous wage distribution of employed workers in the stationary equilibrium. The density of this distribution is increasing at low wages and decreasing at high wages. In all equilibrium contracts, wages increase with tenure, which results in quit rates to decrease with tenure. Moreover, the model makes novel predictions about individuals' job-to-job transition and comparative statics.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-260.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 03 Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-260
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  1. Milton Harris & Bengt Holmstrom, 1981. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Discussion Papers 488, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
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  4. Farber, Henry S., 1999. "Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2439-2483 Elsevier.
  5. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2011. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," Working Papers tecipa-437, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
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  8. 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.
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  12. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  13. Gadi Barlevy, 2003. "Estimating Models of On-the-Job Search Using Record Statistics," NBER Working Papers 10146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 217-27, April.
  15. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 1999. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 827-49, November.
  16. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium wage dispersion with worker and employer heterogeneity," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/dc0ckec3fcb, Sciences Po.
  17. Margaret Stevens, 2000. "Wage-Tenure Contracts in a Frictional Labour Market: Firms Strategies for Recruitment and Retention," Economics Series Working Papers 2000-W10, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  18. Moshe Buchinsky & Jennifer Hunt, 1999. "Wage Mobility In The United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 351-368, August.
  19. Alain Delacroix & Shouyong Shi, 2003. "Directed Search On the Job and the Wage Ladder," Working Papers shouyong-03-04, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  20. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs in an Economy with Coordination Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 996-1025, October.
  21. Coles, Melvyn G. & Eeckhout, Jan, 2003. "Indeterminacy and directed search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 265-276, August.
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  24. Moen, Espen R & Rosén, Åsa, 2002. "Does Poaching Distort Training?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3468, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2008. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-010, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 28 Feb 2009.
  26. Gerard J. van den Berg & Geert Ridder, 1998. "An Empirical Equilibrium Search Model of the Labor Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1183-1222, September.
  27. Shi, Shouyong, 2001. "Frictional Assignment. I. Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 232-260, June.
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  29. Manolis Galenianos & Philipp A. Kircher, 2005. "Directed Search with Multiple Job Applications," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse20_2005, University of Bonn, Germany.
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  32. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  33. Postel-Vinay & Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium wage dispersion with worker and employer heterogeneity," Working Papers 155908, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
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