Two cornerstones of empirical and policy analysis of firms in industrial organization, macro and labor are the determinants of the firm size distribution, and the determinants of sorting between workers and firms. We propose a unifying theory of production where management resolves a tradeoff between hiring more versus better workers. The span of control or size is therefore intimately intertwined with the sorting pattern. We provide a condition for sorting that captures this tradeoff between the quantity and quality of workers and that generalizes Becker’s sorting condition. A system of differential equations determines the equilibrium allocation, the firm size and wages, and allows us to characterize the allocation of the quality and quantity of labor to firms of different productivity. We show that our model nests a large number of widely used existing models. We also augment the model to incorporate labor market frictions in the presence of sorting with large firms.
Assortative Matching with Large Firms
Econometrica. 2018 86(1): 85-132. With Jan Eeckhout.
When heterogeneous firms can choose both how many and which workers to hire, we illustrate consequences for firm-size and wage inequality.
Note a correction for the condition with capital: corrigendum.
Econometrica, 2010, Vol. 78(2), 539–574. With Jan Eeckhout. In search models with price competition the sorting of heterogeneous buyers and sellers depends on complementarities both in output and in search. Go to paper
American Economic Journal - Macroeconomics, 2022, 14(4), 1-97, with Michèle Belot and Paul Muller. In a field experiment, we study how job seekers respond to posted wages by randomly assigning wages randomly to pairs of otherwise similar vacancies in a large number of professions, which generates significantly more but not exclusive interest at higher wages. Go to paper
Econometrica, 2015, Vol 83 (5), 1849-1875. With K. Kim. [online appendix] We introduce cheap-talk into a market game and study if the equilibrium can replicate the constraint efficient allocation under (reserve) price posting. Go to paper
Review of Economic Studies, 2015, Vol 82 (2), 659-692. With Fane Groes and Iourii Manovskii. Occupational mobility is highest for high and low earners, and the former move “up” and the latter “down” as in models of vertical re-sorting. Go to paper
International Economic Review, 2011, 52(1), pp 85-104. With M. Galenianos and G. Virag. [technical appendix] In directed search with a finite population, minimum wages improve employment but reduce output and efficiency, and reverse for unemployment benefits. Go to paper
Review of Economic Studies, 2011, Vol. 78 (3), 872-906. With Jan Eeckhout. Wage and employment data can identify the strength of sorting in search models, though two-sided fixed effects are always mis-specified. Go to paper
American Economic Review P&P, 2017, 107(5): 158–162 With J. Greenwood, C. Santos & M. Tertilt. In a quantitative equilibrium model of sexual behavior and HIV/AIDS transmission we study policies that encourage long-term partnerships. Go to paper
B.E. Journals of Theoretical Economics, 2013, Vol 13 (1). With S. Ludwig and A. Sandroni. We document a revealed preference for randomization for “social goods”, while such non-standard behavior is not present for private consumption goods. Go to paper