Strategic Wage Setting and Coordination Frictions with Multiple Applications

51 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2004

See all articles by Pieter A. Gautier

Pieter A. Gautier

Free University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

José L. Moraga-González

VU University Amsterdam; University of Groningen

Date Written: October 2004


We examine wage competition in a model where identical workers choose the number of jobs to apply for and identical firms simultaneously post a wage. The Nash equilibrium of this game exhibits the following properties: (i) an equilibrium where workers apply for just one job exhibits unemployment and absence of wage dispersion; (ii) an equilibrium where workers apply for two or for more (but not for all) jobs always exhibits wage dispersion and, typically, unemployment; (iii) the equilibrium wage distribution with a higher vacancy-to-unemployment ratio first-order stochastically dominates the wage distribution with a lower level of labor market tightness; (iv) the average wage is non-monotonic in the number of applications; (v) the equilibrium number of applications is non-monotonic in the vacancy-to-unemployment ratio; (vi) a minimum wage increase can be welfare-improving because it compresses the wage distribution and reduces the congestion effects caused by the socially excessive number of applications; and (vii) the only way to obtain efficiency is to impose a mandatory wage that eliminates wage dispersion altogether.

Keywords: Search, wage setting, coordination frictions, wage dispersion,coordination frictions, internet, job search, minimum wage

JEL Classification: D62, D83, J23, J41, J64, D4

Suggested Citation

Gautier, Pieter A. and Moraga-Gonzalez, Jose Luis, Strategic Wage Setting and Coordination Frictions with Multiple Applications (October 2004). Available at SSRN:

Pieter A. Gautier (Contact Author)

Free University of Amsterdam ( email )

Amsterdam, ND North Holland

Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA) ( email )

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam


University of Groningen

P.O. Box 800
9700 AV Groningen, Groningen 9700 AV

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