The Economics Of Labor Market Intermediation: An Analytic Framework

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Executive Summary

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. This paper offers a conceptual foundation for analyzing the market role played by these understudied institutions, and to develop a qualitative and, in some cases, quantitative sense of their significance to market operation and welfare. Though heterogeneous, the author argues that LMIs share a common function, which is to redress - and in some cases exploit - a set of endemic departures of labor market operation from the efficient neoclassical benchmark.

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