The Effects of Savings on Reservation Wages and Search Effort
44 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2012
Date Written: January 2012
This paper discusses the interrelations among wealth, reservation wages and search effort. A theoretical job search model predicts wealth to affect reservation wages positively, and search effort negatively. Moreover, the model shows that reservation wages have a negative effect on search effort, thereby also predicting an indirect negative effect of wealth on search intensity. A simultaneous-equation model for wealth, reservation wages and search intensity takes these theoretical results to the data. The data used is a Dutch panel, containing detailed information on individual wealth and income, subjective reservation wages and proxies for search effort. The main empirical results show that wealth has a significantly positive effect on reservation wages, though it has no significant effect on search effort. Since reservation wages do have a significant negative impact on search effort, the wealth-effect on search effort only takes place indirectly, via an increased reservation wage.
Keywords: Search, Reservation Wages, Wealth, Consumption Smoothing
JEL Classification: C30, C36, D01, J64
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