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On the Efficiency of Wage-Setting Mechanisms with Search Frictions and Human Capital Investment

Darong Dai () and Guoqiang Tian

Annals of Economics and Finance, 2020, vol. 21, issue 1, 1-40

Abstract: A challenge facing labor economists is to explain the existence of different wage-setting mechanisms. This paper investigates the relative efficiency of competitive wage, wage bargaining and wage posting. In a search-theoretical model with human capital investment we establish the conditions, which are associated to the cost structures of human capital investment and job vacancy creation, for one of them to prevail. The insight is that a mechanism generates the highest level of equilibrium welfare by achieving the best balance between aggregate output and aggregate cost. Under the Hosios condition and for a broad range of values of cost parameters, we obtain these results: if work- ers’ matching contribution is sufficiently larger than their output contribution, then wage posting prevails; if their output contribution is sufficiently larger than their matching contribution, then wage bargaining prevails; if these two contributions are sufficiently close to each other, then competitive wage pre- vails. These findings justify in some sense the evidences reported by Hall and Krueger (2012) and Brenzel et al. (2014).

Keywords: Competitive wage; Wage bargaining; Wage posting; Welfare com-parison; Human capital investment; Job search (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D40 D61 J63 J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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