La danza del café, Pedro Nel Gómez. La danza del Café, Pedro Nel Gómez.

Job market paper

Wage posting and skills mismatch.(Abstract)

This paper gives a new answer to an old question in labor economics, “Who matches with whom?", by introducing a setting where firms and workers are different in many dimensions and we allow workers to be over and under qualified for the jobs they end up occupying. I present a random search model with two side multidimensional heterogeneity in which firms choose and post a wage with commitment i.e. maintaining the posted wage, independent of the productivity of the new worker. Posted wages determine the set of acceptable jobs for each worker and a unique applicants pool for each firm. The composition of these sets varies in size and composition across workers and firms. The optimal posted wage level takes into consideration the requirements of each firm and the characteristics of the applicants pool. In equilibrium, sorting is assortative but mismatches can occur across all skills dimensions. Using French data on workers observed skills and matches, I calculate structural parameters associated with the model for France. I find that the disutility of non cognitive skills is higher when mismatched, while employers value more highly good matches on cognitive skills. I also find that the number of dimensions plays an important role, since it is another source for frictions.

Work in progress

  • Matching heterogeneous skills demand and supply under limited rationality (with D. Margolis)

This paper models the labor market matching process when skills are multidimensional and workers are naive about the strategic behavior of their competitors. Using supply and demand side data on multidimensional skills from Colombia, the paper numerically solves for the equilibrium allocation of workers to jobs that solves the naive worker problem and finds that the allocation is inefficient, in that workers over-weight job availability at the expense of matching to jobs for which they are over-qualified, leaving less qualified workers to match to jobs with higher skill demands. Two counterfactual simulations suggested that investment subsidies would be a more effective strategy for approaching the efficient allocation than making training available to all unemployed workers.

  • The recruitment process (with A. Bertheau)

The understanding of the matching process on the labor market requires solid facts about employer and worker search behavior. We provide new evidence on the matching process by exploiting a recent survey about hiring practices in 28 European countries for 18,000 establishments. We analyze how the recruitment process vary across countries, management practices, establishment characteristics, and establishment outcomes. Two-thirds of managers primarily resort to candidates within the same organisation. Personality is the most important selection criteria, ranked above professional experience, qualifications, and skill level. A third of employers state that their newly recruited employees are not ready to do their job.

  • COVID effects on informal employment(with D. Bosworth aand J. Cárdenas)

This paper provides evidence for the different effects of COVID-19 on formal and informal employment, using the work-from-home (Dingel and Neiman, 2020; Saltiel, 2020) and the proximity occupation approach (Mongey et al., 2020). We found that only 13% of informal employment positions can be performed from home (remotely), and that the figure for formal employment is twice as large (20%). We recoded the raw occupational responses of the Colombian Household Survey to a granular level to directly combine occupational information from two sources: O*NET and STEP. We then calculated work-from-home estimates, extracting cohesive results from both sources. We investigate how personal and household characteristics relate to workfrom-home and proximity, and provide sound evidence for a larger effect on the informal population, and its association with vulnerability (lower income and education levels, no Internet access, worst working conditions). Standard employment policies will not arrive directly to the most vulnerable populations in developing countries where informal employment is the norm.

  • Firm multidimensional skill composition (with D. Margolis)

  • Domestic outsourcing effects: evidence from Colombia (with J. Cárdenas)


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