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Wage Dispersion and Search Behavior: The Importance of Non-Wage Job Values

Robert E. Hall and Andreas Mueller

No 21764, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We use a rich new body of data on the experiences of unemployed jobseekers to determine the sources of wage dispersion and to create a search model consistent with the acceptance decisions the jobseekers made. Heterogeneity in non-wage job values or amenities among jobseekers and jobs is a central feature of our model. From the data and the model, we identify the distributions of four key variables: offered wages, offered non-wage job values, the value of the jobseeker's non-work alternative, and the jobseeker's personal productivity. We find that, conditional on personal productivity, the standard deviation of offered log-wages is moderate, at 0.24, whereas the dispersion of the non-wage component of offered job values is substantially larger, at 0.34. The resulting dispersion of offered job values is 0.38. We also find high dispersion of personal productivity, at 0.43.

JEL-codes: J31 J32 J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge and nep-lma
Note: EFG LS
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Published as Wage Dispersion and Search Behavior: The Importance of Non-Wage Job Values Robert E. Hall and Andreas I Mueller Journal of Political Economy 0 0:ja

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Journal Article: Wage Dispersion and Search Behavior: The Importance of Nonwage Job Values (2018) Downloads
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