Search and Retirement Under Asymmetric Information

49 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2014

See all articles by Sheng Bi

Sheng Bi

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

François Langot

University of Angers - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives d'Economie Mathematique Appliquees a la Planification (CEPREMAP); Université du Maine - Groupe d' Analyse des Itineraires et Niveaux Salariaux (GAINS); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We consider a labor market where the competitive search equilibrium is inefficient due to asymmetrical information. At the time when firms commit to specific hiring costs, workers hold private information on their intention of entering into retirement before the termination of the contract. When retirement is an event which occurs exogenously and information is complete, the long term employment relationship is preferred by the risk adverse workers. This implies that firms must implement a screening process when the information is asymmetric. We show that the optimal separating contract (an ascending wage profile) distorts the allocation of the workers who will retire later (the 'good' workers) in order to prevent the workers who will retire early (the 'bad' workers) from applying for these jobs. Secondly, we endogenize the retirement decision by considering two cases: an ex ante or ex post heterogeneity. In these two cases, we show that a separating equilibrium always exists, whereby good workers accept an ascending wage profile in order to make themselves differentiate from the 'bad' workers. These asymmetries in the information lead to an excess of retirement compared to the full information economy. Finally, in the case of ex post heterogeneity, we are able to show that the employment rate is unambiguously lower.

Keywords: competitive search equilibrium, separating equilibrium, retirement

JEL Classification: D82, D86, J14, J26, J64

Suggested Citation

Bi, Sheng and Langot, Francois, Search and Retirement Under Asymmetric Information. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8288. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2462720

Sheng Bi (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Francois Langot

University of Angers - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives d'Economie Mathematique Appliquees a la Planification (CEPREMAP) ( email )

Ecole Normale Superieure
48 boulevard Jourdan
75014 Paris
France

Université du Maine - Groupe d' Analyse des Itineraires et Niveaux Salariaux (GAINS) ( email )

72085 Le Mans Cedex 9
France

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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