Date of Original Version
International Economic Review, Volume 50 Issue 3, Pages 831 - 854
Abstract or Table of Contents
The article analyzes the effect of employer–worker bargaining on wage dynamics in the presence of asymmetric information between current and potential employers. A failure to reach an agreement leads to output loss. Because the disagreement points depend upon the worker's productivity, productive workers separate themselves from less productive workers and signal their ability through wages. In existing models of asymmetric learning, wages are attached to publicly observable characteristics and wage growth occurs only when there is a change in observable characteristics. This model, in contrast, generates an increase in earnings dispersion in cohorts of workers with similar observable characteristics.