Alternative Models of Wage Dispersion

Author/Editor:

International Monetary Fund

Publication Date:

March 1, 2005

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

We analyze labor market models where the law of one price does not hold-that is, models with equilibrium wage dispersion. We begin by assuming workers are ex ante heterogeneous, and highlight a flaw with this approach: if search is costly, the market shuts down. We then assume workers are homogeneous, but matches are ex post heterogeneous. This model is robust to search costs, and it delivers equilibrium wage dispersion. However, we prove the law of two prices holds: generically, we cannot get more than two wages. We explore several other models, including one combining ex ante and ex post heterogeneity, which is robust and can deliver more than two-point wage distributions.

Series:

Working Paper No. 05/64

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

March 1, 2005

ISBN/ISSN:

9781451860832/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2005064

Format:

Paper

Pages:

25

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