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The Minimum Wage Spike in the Search Economy with Wage-Posting

  • Natalya Y. Shelkova

    (Guilford College and University of Connecticut)

Empirical wage and wage offer distributions exhibit substantial clustering in economies with a mandated minimum wage, the phenomenon knows as the minimum wage spike, as well as wage dispersion. Existing search-theoretic literature does not replicate both of the empirical phenomena simultaneously. This paper attempts to reconcile the two under assumptions of wage-posting, urn-ball matching and firm productive heterogeneity. A non-degenerate minimum wage spike and wage dispersion are obtained when firm wage determination embodies both incentives for collusion at the minimum wage and competition at the same time, making the spike and the dispersion the outcomes of partially collusive equilibrium. Besides this main result, the paper also shows that a higher minimum wage may reduce unemployment.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2009-40.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2009-40
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  1. Shapiro, Joel, 2004. "Income taxation in a frictional labor market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 465-479, March.
  2. Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt & Seth D. Harris & Orley Lobel (ed.), Labor and Employment Law and Economics, volume 2, pages 480-516 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    • Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Chapters, in: Labor and Employment Law and Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  3. Fernando Alvarez & Robert Shimer, 2008. "Search and Rest Unemployment," EIEF Working Papers Series 0809, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jan 2008.
  4. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-83, June.
  5. Pieter A. Gautier & Jose L. Moraga, 2004. "Strategic Wage Setting and Coordination Frictions with Multiple Applications," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-063/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 16 Aug 2004.
  6. 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.
  7. Brown, Charles, 1999. "Minimum wages, employment, and the distribution of income," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 32, pages 2101-2163 Elsevier.
  8. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "The Distribution of Earnings in an Equilibrium Search Model with State-Dependent Offers and Counteroffers," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00357753, HAL.
  9. Albrecht, James & Gautier, Pieter A. & Vroman, Susan, 2003. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Applications," IZA Discussion Papers 719, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. 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.
  11. repec:sae:ilrrev:v:49:y:1996:i:3:p:547-552 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Flinn, Christopher, 2003. "Minimum Wage Effects on Labor Market Outcomes under Search with Bargaining," IZA Discussion Papers 949, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Natalya Y. Shelkova, 2008. "Low-Wage Labor Markets and the Power of Suggestion," Working papers 2008-33, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2008.
  14. Stephane Pallage & Christian Zimmermann, 1997. "Moral Hazard and Optimal Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Heterogeneous Skills," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 54, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  15. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning & Lupin Rahman, 2003. "Where the Minimum Wage Bites Hard: Introduction of Minimum Wages to a Low Wage Sector," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 154-180, 03.
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