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Becker Meets Ricardo: Multisector Matching with Social and Cognitive Skills

Author

Listed:
  • Robert J. McCann
  • Xianwen Shi
  • Aloysius Siow
  • Ronald Wolthoff

Abstract

This paper presents a tractable framework for studying frictionless matching in school, work, and marriage when individuals have heterogeneous social and cognitive skills. In the model, there are gains to specialization and team production, but specialization requires communication and coordination between team members, and individuals with more social skills communicate and coordinate at lower resource cost. The theory delivers full task specialization in the labor and education markets, but incomplete specialization in marriage. It also captures well-known matching patterns in each of these sectors, including the commonly observed many-to-one matches in firms and schools. Equilibrium is equivalent to the solution of an utilitarian social planner solving a linear programming problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. McCann & Xianwen Shi & Aloysius Siow & Ronald Wolthoff, 2012. "Becker Meets Ricardo: Multisector Matching with Social and Cognitive Skills," Working Papers tecipa-454, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-454
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David J. Deming, 2015. "The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 21473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Matching; Specialization; Comparative Advantage; Span of Control; Education; Marriage;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D50 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - General

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