Document Type

Working Paper

Date of This Version

7-1-2009

Abstract

A fixed wage is inefficient in a standard search model when workers endogenously separate from employment. We derive an efficient employment contract that involves agents paying a hiring fee (or bond) upon the formation of a match. We estimate the fixed wage and efficient contract assuming the hiring fee is unobservable, and find evidence to reject the efficient contract in favor of the fixed wage rule. A counterfactual experiment reveals the current level of labor force participation to be 9% below the efficient level, and a structural shift to the efficient contract improves welfare by nearly 4%.

Working Paper Number

0909

Included in

Economics Commons

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