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Studies of Labor Market Intermediation: Introduction

Studies of Labor Market Intermediation: Introduction

(p.1) Studies of Labor Market Intermediation: Introduction
Studies of Labor Market Intermediation
David H. Autor
University of Chicago Press

The labor market depicted by undergraduate textbooks is a pure spot market, characterized by complete information and atomistic price taking. Labor Market Intermediaries (LMIs) are entities or institutions that interpose themselves between workers and firms to facilitate, inform, or regulate how workers are matched to firms, how work is accomplished, and how conflicts are resolved. Labor market information is not usually complete or symmetric, workers are not typically commodities, firms are not always price takers, and in general, there may be scope for third parties—LMIs, in particular—to intercede both to improve the operation of the labor market and to profit from its imperfections. Despite widely heralded advances in the technology of job matching, LMIs will continue to arise to address, ameliorate, and exploit the imperfect environment in which workers and employers interact.

Keywords:   labor market, labor market intermediaries, LMI, job matching, firms, commodities, job matching

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