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Human capital, reservation wages and job competition: Heckman's lambda re-interpreted

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This study integrates insights from three theories into a single model explaining the simultaneous distribution of employment and wages. Human capital theory is taken as the general framework, whereas search theory and the more recent 'crowding' or 'job competition' hypothesis are used to explain selectivity in employment and the resulting bias in wage regressions. An empirical test on Belgian data, using a two-stage probit-OLS model, indicates that the crowding theory dominates the search hypothesis for men. For women, it seems to be outweighed by relatively higher reservation wages, probably due to women's different behaviour with respect to family responsibilities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2001

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