Fairness, search frictions, and offshoring

Devashish Mitra, Priya Ranjan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Fairness considerations are introduced into the determination of wages in a two factor Pissarides-style model of search unemployment to study its implications for the unemployment rates of unskilled and skilled workers in both the closed economy case and when the economy can offshore some inputs. Both fairness concerns and offshoring of jobs done by unskilled workers create the overhiring effect for skilled workers. An increase in the concern for fairness in the closed economy increases the cost of hiring unskilled workers and increases the unemployment rates of both types of workers; however, wage inequality decreases. In the open economy case, an increase in the concern for fairness leads to greater offshoring which prevents skilled unemployment from increasing, but the unemployment of unskilled workers increases. A reduction in the cost of offshoring also increases offshoring and increases the unemployment of unskilled workers, but has a positive effect on skilled workers. Due to the presence of an overhiring effect in the hiring of skilled workers for both offshoring and non-offshoring firms, skilled workers experience higher wages and lower unemployment. The opposite movements in skilled and unskilled unemployment render the net effect ambiguous. Even though wage inequality increases, the impact on the wages of unskilled workers is ambiguous.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-172
Number of pages36
JournalB.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Fair wages
  • Offshoring
  • Overhiring effect
  • Unemployment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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