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It is often argued that a mandatory minimum wage is binding only if the wage density displays a spike at it. In this paper we analyze a model with search frictions and heterogeneous production technologies, in which imposition of a minimum wage affects wages even though, after imposition, the lowest wage in the market exceeds the minimum wage. The model has multiple equilibria as a result of the fact that the reservation wage of the unemployed and the lowest production technology in use affect each other. Imposition of a minimum wage may improve social welfare.
heterogeneity; imperfect information; informational frictions; internet; price convergence; production technology
In markets with imperfect information and heterogeneity, the information technology affects the rate at which agents meet, which in turn affects the distribution of production technologies across firms. We show that in models for such markets there are typically multiple equilibria because reservation utility levels and the lowest production technology in use affect each other. The adoption of novel information technologies may then entail a revolution in the sense of a move from an inefficient to an efficient equilibrium. Inefficient production technologies are removed even in sectors where the new information technology has only recently been introduced. The effect is much larger than a marginal comparative-statics effect on a given equilibrium. The results apply to markets for consumer products, labor, intermediate goods, and (publi...
Instrumental variable estimation requires untestable exclusion restrictions. With policy effects on individual outcomes, there is typically a time interval between the moment the agent realizes that he may be exposed to the policy and the actual exposure or the announcement of the actual treatment status. In such cases there is an incentive for the agent to acquire information on the value of the IV. This leads to violation of the exclusion restriction. We analyze this in a dynamic economic model framework. This provides a foundation of exclusion restrictions in terms of economic behavior. The results are used to describe policy evaluation settings in which instrumental variables are likely or unlikely to make sense. For the latter cases we analyze the asymptotic bias. The exclusion restriction is more likely to be violated if the outc...
Generally, it is acknowledged that changing the job-offer arrival rate has two opposite effects on unemployment duration. For a basic job search model, sufficient conditions on the wage-offer distribution have been derived, ensuring that one of the effects dominates. However, these are not satisfied for the popular families of wage-offer distributions. Here the author shows that the conditions can be weakened at virtually no cost. The set of distributions satisfying the new conditions is considerably larger than the set previously established. In particular, it includes all wage-offer distribution families that are popular in structural empirical research. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.
Using longitudinal micro data on unemployed individuals for 1983-85, a structural job search model is estimated. The model allows for transitions from unemployment to nonparticipation. An extended version of the model deals with the influence of on-the-job search and prospective wage increases on search behavior of the unemployed. The empirical results show that the probability of accepting a job offer is almost one for most unemployed individuals. A large portion of unemployment spells ends in a transition out of the labor force. The effects of changes in benefits on duration appear to be extremely small. Copyright 1990 by Royal Economic Society.
This paper examines the use of equilibrium search models in the empirical analysis of labor markets. The author surveys the literature on structural estimation of these models with micro data on wages and durations, and he discusses the advantages of this approach for policy analysis and for obtaining a better understanding of the labor market. During the past ten years, substantial progress has been made in terms of the explanatory power of these models. The author finishes with a critical examination of the extent to which the approach can be fruitfully applied to (matched worker-) firm data.
Generally, structural job search models are taken to be stationary. In this paper, models are examined in which every exogenous variable can cause nonstationarity, for instance, because its value is dependent on unemployment duration. A general differential equation that describes the evolution of the reservation wage over time is derived. As an empirical illustration, a nonstationary structural model is estimated that focuses on the consequences of a downward shift in the level of benefits. It appears that the elasticity of duration with respect to the level of benefits after the shift is much larger than the elasticity with respect to the level before the shift. Copyright 1990 by The Review of Economic Studies Limited.
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