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CEP/STICERD Applications Seminars

Worker Beliefs About Outside Options

Benjamin Schoefer (Harvard), joint with Simon Jäger, Christopher Roth, Nina Roussille

Monday 28 February 2022 16:00 - 17:30

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Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

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About this event

Workers wrongly anchor their beliefs about outside options on their current wage. In particular, low-paid workers underestimate wages elsewhere. We document this anchoring bias by eliciting workers’ beliefs in a representative survey in Germany and comparing them to measures of actual outside options in linked administrative labor market data. In an equilibrium model, such anchoring can give rise to monopsony and labor market segmentation. In line with the model, misperceptions are particularly pronounced among workers in low-wage firms. If workers had correct beliefs, at least 10% of jobs, concentrated in low-wage firms, would not be viable at current wages.

Applications (Applied Micro) Seminars are held on Mondays in term time at 12:00-13:30 in 3.05 in person.

Seminar organiser: Jörn-Steffen Pischke

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, either by email: l.chibwe@lse.ac.uk.

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