The effects of savings on reservation wages and search effort

This paper discusses the interrelations among wealth, reservation wages and search effort. A theoretical job search model predicts wealth to affect reservation wages positively, and search effort negatively.Moreover, the model shows that reservation wages have a negative effect on search effort, thereby also predicting an indirect negative effect of wealth on search intensity. A simultaneous-equation model for wealth, reservation wages and search intensity takes these theoretical results to the data. The data used is a Dutch panel, containing detailed information on individual wealth and income, subjective reservation wages and proxies for search effort. The main empirical results show that wealth has a signi?cantly positive effect on reservation wages, though it has no signi?cant effect on search e¤ort. Since reservation wages do have a signi?cant negative impact on search effort, the wealth-effect on search effort only takesplace indirectly, via an increased reservation wage.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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