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Wage Dispersion and Overqualification as Entailed by Reder Competition

  • Schlicht, Ekkehart

The expansion of higher education in theWestern countries has been accompanied by a marked widening of wage differentials and increasing overqualification. While the increase in wage differentials has been attributed to skill-biased technological change that made advanced skills scarce, this explanation does not fit well with the observed increase in overqualification which suggests that advanced skills are in excess supply. By ?Reder-competition? I refer to the simultaneous adjustment of wage offers and hiring standards in response to changing labor market condition. I present a simple model of Reder competition that reproduces the simultaneous increase in wage differentials and overqualification in response to an increase in education.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2007-22.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:5727
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  1. Mortensen, Dale T, 1970. "Job Search, the Duration of Unemployment, and the Phillips Curve," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(5), pages 847-62, December.
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  7. Green, Francis & McIntosh, Steven & Vignoles, Anna, 2002. "The Utilization of Education and Skills: Evidence from Britain," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(6), pages 792-811, December.
  8. Peter Skott, 2005. "Wage inequality and overeducation in a model with efficiency wages," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2005-06, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  9. Harley Frazis & Mark A Loewenstein, 2006. "Wage Compression and the Division of Returns to Productivity Growth: Evidence from EOPP," Working Papers 398, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  10. Ludsteck, Johannes & Haupt, Harry, 2007. "An Empirical Test of Reder Competition and Specific Human Capital Against Standard Wage Competition," Discussion Papers in Economics 1977, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1978. "Labour Turnover, Wage Structure, and Natural Unemployment," Munich Reprints in Economics 1255, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  13. Weiss, Andrew W, 1980. "Job Queues and Layoffs in Labor Markets with Flexible Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 526-38, June.
  14. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1973. "Approaches to the Economics of Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 287-95, May.
  15. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
  16. Francis Green & Steven McIntosh, 2007. "Is there a genuine under-utilization of skills amongst the over-qualified?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 427-439.
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