Individual wage expectations of Italian unemployed are studied. The analysis is carried out separately for the North-Central and southern Italian regions using semiparametric additive models. Results show a marked difference in expectations formation across regions. We argue that as far as the labour market information in the South is less diffuse and more ambiguous than in the North, the divergence between the econometric model based on a utility-maximisation mainstream theory and the actual wage expectation mechanism may be large. A tentative explanation based on psychological and social factors is offered.
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