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An Equilibrium Theory of Learning, Search and Wages

  • Francisco M. Gonzalez
  • Shouyong Shi

We examine the labor market effects of incomplete information about the workers' own job-finding process. Search outcomes convey valuable information, and learning from search generates endogenous heterogeneity in workers' beliefs about their job-finding probability. We characterize this process and analyze its interactions with job creation and wage determination. Our theory sheds new light on how unemployment can affect workers' labor market outcomes and wage determination, providing a rational explanation for discouragement as the consequence of negative search outcomes. In particular, longer unemployment durations are likely to be followed by lower re-employment wages because a worker's beliefs about his job-finding process deteriorate with unemployment duration. Moreover, our analysis provides a set of useful results on dynamic programming with optimal learning.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-384.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 08 Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-384
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
Phone: (416) 978-5283

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  1. Peters, Michael, 1984. "Bertrand Equilibrium with Capacity Constraints and Restricted Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1117-27, September.
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  8. Giovanni L. Violante & Per Krusell & Andreas Hornstein, 2006. "Frictional wage dispersion in search models: a quantitative assessment," Working Paper 06-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  9. Shouyong Shi, 2006. "Directed Search for Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Working Papers tecipa-260, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  10. Shouyong Shi & Guido Menzio, 2009. "Block Recursive Equilibria for Stochastic Models of Search on the Job," 2009 Meeting Papers 177, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. 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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  13. Acemoglu, D. & Shimer, R., 1997. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Working papers 97-9, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  19. Leonard J Mirman & Olivier F. Morand & Kevin L. Reffett, 2004. "A Qualitative Approach to Markovian Equilibrium in Infinite Horizon Economies with Capital," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000224, UCLA Department of Economics.
  20. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
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  35. Santos, Manuel S, 1991. "Smoothness of the Policy Function in Discrete Time Economic Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1365-82, September.
  36. Shi, Shouyong, 2001. "Frictional Assignment. I. Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 232-260, June.
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