NBER Publications by Rasmus Lentz

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers onlyInformation about this author at RePEc

Working Papers and Chapters

November 2015Training and Search On the Job
with Nicolas Roys: w21702
The paper studies human capital accumulation over workers' careers in an on the job search setting with heterogenous firms. In renegotiation proof employment contracts, more productive firms provide more training. Both general and specific training induce higher wages within jobs, and with future employers, even conditional on the future employer type. Because matches do not internalize the specific capital loss from employer changes, specific human capital can be over-accumulated, more so in low type firms. While validating the Acemoglu and Pischke (1999) mechanisms, the analysis nevertheless arrives at the opposite conclusion: That increased labor market friction reduces training in equilibrium.
April 2014An Empirical Model of Wage Dispersion with Sorting
with Jesper Bagger: w20031
This paper studies wage dispersion in an equilibrium on-the-job-search model with endogenous search intensity. Workers differ in their permanent skill level and firms differ with respect to productivity. Positive (negative) sorting results if the match production function is supermodular (submodular). The model is estimated on Danish matched employer-employee data. We find evidence of positive assortative matching. In the estimated equilibrium match distribution, the correlation between worker skill and firm productivity is 0.12. The assortative matching has a substantial impact on wage dispersion. We decompose wage variation into four sources: Worker heterogeneity, firm heterogeneity, frictions, and sorting. Worker heterogeneity contributes 51% of the variation, firm heterogeneity contrib...
March 2014Optimal Employment Contracts with Hidden Search
In this paper I explore optimal employment contract design in a random search framework, where workers search on and off the job for employment opportunities similar to that of Lentz (2010) and Bagger and Lentz (2013). The worker determines the frequency by which employment opportunities arrive through a costly choice of search intensity, which is unobserved by the firm and cannot be directly contracted upon. Firms differ in productivity by which they employ workers. Firms compete over workers in terms of utility promises in a fashion otherwise similar to that of Postel-Vinay and Robin (2002). As in Burdett and Coles (2003) and Burdett and Coles (2010), optimal tenure conditional contracts are shown to be back loaded to discourage the worker from generating outside competitive pressure. Th...
August 2005An Empirical Model of Growth Through Product Innovation
with Dale T. Mortensen: w11546
Productivity dispersion across firms is large and persistent, and worker reallocation among firms is an important source of productivity growth. The purpose of the paper is to estimate the structure of an equilibrium model of growth through innovation that explains these facts. The model is a modified version of the Schumpeterian theory of firm evolution and growth developed by Klette and Kortum (2004). The data set is a panel of Danish firms than includes information on value added, employment, and wages. The model's fit is good and the structural parameter estimates have interesting implications for the aggregate growth rate and the contribution of worker reallocation to it.

Published: Lentz, Rasmus and Dale T. Mortensen. “An Empirical Model of Growth through Product Innovation.” Econometrica 76, 6 (November 2008): 1317-73. citation courtesy of

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers onlyInformation about this author at RePEc

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us