August 2014

IZA DP No. 8439: Sorting Between and Within Industries: A Testable Model of Assortative Matching

John M. Abowd, Francis Kramarz, Sébastien Pérez-Duarte, Ian M. Schmutte

We test for sorting of workers between and within industrial sectors in a directed search model with coordination frictions. We fit the model to sector-specific vacancy and output data along with publicly-available statistics that characterize the distribution of worker and employer wage heterogeneity across sectors. Our empirical method is general and can be applied to a broad class of assignment models. The results indicate that industries are the loci of sorting-more productive workers are employed in more productive industries. The evidence confirms assortative matching can be present even when worker and employer components of wage heterogeneity are weakly correlated.