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Social preferences and skill segregation

  • Antonio Cabrales
  • Antoni Calvó

This paper shows that models where preferences of individuals depend not only on their allocations, but also on the well-being of other persons, can produce both large and testable effects. We study the allocation of workers with heterogeneous productivities to firms. We show that even small deviations from purely “selfish” preferences leads to widespread workplace skill segregation. That is, workers of different abilities tend to work in di¤erent firms, as long as they care somewhat more about the utilities of workers who are “close”.

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File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/629.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 629.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:629
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. Bolton, Gary E, 1991. "A Comparative Model of Bargaining: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1096-136, December.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Kremer, M & Maskin, E, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," Working papers 96-23, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1777, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
  6. Fershtman, C. & Weiss, Y. & Hvide, H.K., 2001. "Status Concerns and the Organization of Work," Papers 2001-2, Tel Aviv.
  7. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  8. Gilles Saint Paul, 1999. "On the distribution of income and worker assignment under intra-firm spillovers, with an application to ideas and networks," Economics Working Papers 417, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ernst Fehr & Klaus Schmidt, 2000. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity – Evidence and Economic Applications," CESifo Working Paper Series 403, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  12. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  13. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1994. "Human Relations in the Workplace," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 684-717, August.
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