Equilibrium Search with Continuous Productivity Dispersion: Theory and Non-Parametric Estimation
University of Aarhus CLS Working Paper No. 98-007
56 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 1999
Date Written: August 1998
In this paper we theoretically and empirically analyze equilibrium search models of the labor market. The Burdett-Mortensen equilibrium search model is generalized by allowing for continuous distributions of firm productivity types within a given labor market. We characterize equilibrium and derive expressions for the endogenous equilibrium wage distributions. We then characterize the full set of wage (offer) distributions that can in principle be generated by the model. We develop a structural nonparametric estimation method for the productivity distribution. We estimate the model using French longitudinal survey data on labor supply, and we compare the results on the relation between productivities and wages to those obtained using a French panel dataset of firms. The results are informative on the degree to which firms exploit search frictions.
JEL Classification: J6, J3, D83, C51
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