Fair pay and a Wagebill Argument for Wage Rigidity and Excessive Employment Variability

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Abstract

This article considers a two-period optimal contracting model in which firms make new hires in the second period subject to the constraint that they cannot pay discriminate either against or in favour of the new hires. In the absence of fully contingent contracts, it is shown that wages are less flexible than needed for efficient employment levels, with the result that too few hires are made in bad states of the world. Unemployment is involuntary. In an extension to the model, there may also be involuntary and excessive layoffs in some states of the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-859
Number of pages27
JournalThe Economic Journal
Volume115
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

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