Lecturer (Assistant Prof) in Economics at the University of Essex
Research Associate at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
My research interest is in macro-labour.
Email: ran.gu@essex.ac.uk

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Find my research here

In my job market paper, I examine how firm-specific human capital affects variability of wages in a frictional labour market. I develop an equilibrium search model with long-term contracts and imperfect monitoring of workers’ efforts. Imperfect monitoring creates a moral hazard problem that requires firms to pay efficiency wages. On the other hand, more specific capital leads to lower mobility, thereby increasing risk-sharing for two reasons. First, as the probability of separation decreases, firms do not need to compensate workers for such risk. Second, it increases the marginal cost of providing incentives for efforts, making it optimal for firms to provide more insurance. I use the model to study the cyclicality of the postgraduate-undergraduate wage gap. Over the business cycle, postgraduate degree holders experience lower wage variation than those with undergraduate degrees. Moreover, postgraduates have more specific capital. Estimates reveal that specific capital explains the differences both in labour turnover and in wage cyclicality across education groups.

Media Coverage: LSE Business Review, Royal Economic Society

In my other research papers: