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Working Papers


Research Agenda


Short CV (long CV)


Search and Matching Research Group (SaM)


Philipp Kircher


European University Institute and

University of Edinburgh



E-Mail: philipp.kircher@eui.eu





Main Research Agenda:


Sorting: The wages and employment prospects of workers with different skills in a world with differentiated jobs/occupations are a long-standing interest of mine (see RED column or inaugural lecture). In particular, how do various people change occupations (see paper (8)), how can one re-design online job search to incorporate advice that facilitates such changes ((2) and VOX column), and how can we identify sorting even though two-sided fixed effects are inappropriate (11)? And what determines theoretically the sorting and wages in the presence of large firms (3) and search frictions (13), and how is this is affected by trade (5)?


Directed Search: A second agenda reviewed in (20) explores whether workers direct their job search towards jobs that post a higher pay: I have randomly varied wage offers in the field (21), and studied the theoretical foundations ((10) and (12)), its effects on firm dynamics (7), its consequences when workers apply to multiple jobs ((15) and (16)), its importance for mechanism design (14), and whether firms can signal their pay efficiently through cheap talk messages (6). Relatedly, I considered how individuals can get better deals by following others, and – more importantly - how firms reward those who are being followed (18).


Disease transmission: Finally, I study how individuals adjust their partner search and sexual behaviour depending on the risk of contracting HIV and how this affects the epidemiological properties of disease transmission in equilibrium ((1) and (4)).



Publications with short description


 (1) An Equilibrium Model of the African HIV/AIDS Epidemic  May 2017 (first draft 12/09)  with J. Greenwood, C. Santos and M. Tertilt.

      Accepted at Econometrica.

A calibrated equilibrium search model of an HIV/AIDS epidemic is developed to analyse the direct impact and the bahavioral adjustment to policies.

(2) Providing Advice to Job Seekers at Low Cost: An Experimental Study on On-Line Advice  w. Michèle Belot and Paul Muller.

     Accepted Review of Economic Studies 

We develop and evaluate experimentally a novel tool that redesigns the job search process by providing tailored online advice about related occupations.

(3) Assortative Matching with Large Firms  with Jan Eeckhout.

     Econometrica, 2018 86(1): 85-132..

When heterogeneous firms can choose both how many and which workers to hire, we illustrate consequences for firm-size and wage inequality.

(4) The Role of Marriage in Fighting HIV: A Quantitative Illustration for Malawi w. J. Greenwood, C. Santos & M. Tertilt.,

     American Economic Review P&P, 2017, 107(5): 158–162.


In a quantitative equilibrium model of sexual behaviour and HIV/AIDS transmission we study policies that encourage long-term partnerships.

(5) Matching, Sorting, and the Distributional Impacts of International Trade  w. G. Grossman & E. Helpman,

    Journal of Political Economy, 2017, 124(1), 224-264. (simulations, matlab)

We introduce two-sided heterogeneity into a Hecksher-Ohlin-style trade model to study factor reallocation and wage inequality within and across sectors.

(6) Efficient Competition through Cheap Talk: The Case of Competing Auctions with K. Kim.

     Econometrica, 2015, Vol 83 (5), 1849-1875.                                                                                                                            (online appendix)

We introduce cheap-talk into a market game and study if the equilibrium can replicate the constraint efficient allocation under (reserve) price posting.

(7) Efficient Firm Dynamics in a Frictional Labor Market  with Leo Kaas,

     American Economic Review, 2015, Vol 105 (10), 3030-3060.

We propose a tractable competitive search model with heterogeneous multi-worker firms, and investigate firm growth and business cycles.

(8) The U-Shapes of Occupational Mobility with Fane Groes and Iourii Manovskii,

     Review of Economic Studies, 2015, Vol 82 (2), 659-692.

Occupational mobility is highest for high and low earners, and the former move “up” and the latter “down” as in models of vertical re-sorting.

(10) On the Game-theoretic Foundations of Competitive Search Equilibrium with M. Galenianos,

       International Economic Review, 2012, Vol 53 (1), 1-21.


We study a finite directed-search wage posting game among heterogeneous firms (allowing for risk aversion, moral hazard,…), including limit theorems.

(11) Identifying Sorting – In Theory  with Jan Eeckhout,

       Review of Economic Studies, 2011, Vol. 78 (3), 872-906.

Wage and employment data can identify the strength of sorting in search models, though two-sided fixed effects are always mis-specified.

(12) Market Power and Efficiency in a Search Model with M. Galenianos and G. Virag,

       International Economic Review, 2011, 52(1), pp 85-104.

(technical appendix)

In directed search with a finite population, minimum wages improve employment but reduce output and efficiency, and reverse for unemployment benefits.

(13) Sorting and Decentralized Price Competition with Jan Eeckhout,

       Econometrica, 2010, Vol. 78(2), 539–574.

In search models with price competition the sorting of heterogeneous buyers and sellers depends on complementarities both in output and in search.

(14) Sorting vs Screening – Search Frictions and Competing Mechanisms with Jan Eeckhout,

       Journal of Economic Theory, 2010/145, 1354-1385.

Search affects competing mechanisms: if meetings with low types reduce those of high types, price posting and market separation replace auctions.

(15) Efficiency of Simultaneous Search

       Journal of Political Economy, 2009, Vol. 117(5), pp. 861- 913.

In a directed search where workers apply for multiple jobs and are then allocated via a stable matching, efficiency arises at all stages.

(16) Directed Search with Multiple Job Applications with Manolis Galenianos,

       Journal of Economic Theory, 2009, 114(2), pp. 445-471.

We study wage dispersion and (in)efficiency in directed search when workers can strategically apply for multiple jobs but firms can only make one offer.

(17) A Model of Money with Multilateral Matching with Manolis Galenianos,

       Journal of Monetary Economics, 2008, Vol. 55, pp. 1054-1066.

We characterize price dispersion and welfare in a monetary model with private information: inflation is regressive even though the rich hold more money.

(18) Strategic Firms and Endogenous Consumer Emulation with Andrew Postlewaite,

       Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2008/123(2), pp. 621-661.

(technical appendix)

In a model of social learning, the better informed (wealthier) consumers get preferential service because their consumption signals high quality to others.


Working Papers


 (19) Inferring Risk Perceptions and Preferences using Choice from Insurance Menus: Theory and Evidence 2017, w. Ericson, Spinnewijn &, Starc

        R&R Economic Journal

Demand for insurance can be driven by high risk aversion or high risk, and we show how to separate the two using observed market shares.

(20) Directed Search: A Guided Tour  September 2017 with Randy Wright, Benoit Julien, and Veronica Guerrieri.

       R&R Journal of Economic Literature

This survey presents a comprehensive overview of the directed/competitive search literature.

(21) How wage announcements affect job search behavior – a field experiment  Aug. 2018, with Michèle Belot and Paul Muller.

We develop and evaluate experimentally a novel tool that redesigns the job search process by providing tailored online advice about related occupations.























































































(last updated: 2018)