Becker Friedman Institute
for Research in Economics
The University of Chicago

Research. Insights. Impact. Advancing the Legacy of Chicago Economics.

Match Quality, Contractual Sorting and Wage Cyclicality

October 2017
Joao Alfredo Galindo da Fonseca, Giovanni Gallipoli, Yaniv Yedid-Levi

This paper studies the role of match quality for contractual arrangements, wage dynamics and workers’ retention. We develop a model in which profit maximizing firms offer a performance-based pay arrangement to retain workers with relatively high match-specific productivity. The key implications of our model hold in data from the NLSY79, where information about job histories and performance pay is available. We relate our findings to the literature on occupation heterogeneity and provide evidence that jobs in “cognitive” occupations have better match quality, exhibit higher prevalence of performance pay, display significant sensitivity of wages to business cycle conditions and last longer.