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Layoffs with Payoffs: A Bargaining Model of Union Wage and Severance Pay Determination

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  • Booth, Alison L

Abstract

Popular characterizations of union preferences assume that the income of laid-off union members is exogenous. There is evidence, however, of intra-union distribution schemes such as severance payments, unemployment insurance, retraining arrangements and early retirement schemes. This paper develops a model of wage and severance pay determination by a trade union and a firm bargaining in a right-to-manage framework. The important point differentiating the model in this paper from the orthodox union model is that it is efficiency-improving in the sense that it makes full-insurance possible and marginal productivity is equal to the opportunity cost of labour. Moreover, with redundancy pay on the bargaining agenda, both the right-to-manage and the efficient bargaining union models are characterized by the same efficiency conditions. This has implications for empirical research which attempts to distinguish between these two models, since the outcome of both models is the same. Finally, the union-firm bargaining model can also be compared with the outcome of the implicit contract model with redundancy pay. There is an important difference between the two approaches, however. While the result in this paper derives from an imperfectly competitive labour market where unions and firms bargain over wages and redundancy pay, the implicit contract result derives from a perfectly competitive labour market in which competitive forces lead to an efficient outcome.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 62 (1995)
Issue (Month): 248 (November)
Pages: 551-64

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:62:y:1995:i:248:p:551-64

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Cited by:
  1. repec:iza:izadps:dp875 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Laszlo Goerke, 2002. "Redundancy Pay and Collective Dismissals," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(1), pages 68-, February.
  3. Frank Scharr, 2005. "Tarifbindung, Rententeilung und Konzessionsverträge als Einflussgrößen der Lohnhöhe in Unternehmen : eine Untersuchung mit Mikrodaten für thüringische Firmen," ifo Dresden Studien, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 39, October.
  4. Burguet, Roberto & Caminal, Ramón, 2004. "Does the Market Provide Sufficient Employment Protection?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4198, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Elie Appelbaum, 2008. "Wages, Fringe Benefits and Efficiency in Union-Firm Bargaining," Working Papers 2008_04, York University, Department of Economics.
  6. Miguel Malo, 2001. "European Labour Law and Severance Pay Determination in Collective Redundancies," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 73-90, July.
  7. Appelbaum, Elie, 2011. "Union-firm bargaining: Order of play and efficiency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 235-245, March.
  8. Elie Appelbaum, 2009. "Alternating Offers Union-Firm Bargaining: Order of Play and Efficiency," Working Papers 2009_02, York University, Department of Economics.
  9. Christian Grund, 2006. "Overcompensation by severance payments," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(8), pages 925-930.
  10. Christian Grund, 2004. "Severance Payments for Dismissed Employees Severance Payments for Dismissed Employees in Germany," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse4_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.
  11. Pilar García-Martínez & Miguel Malo, 2007. "The strategic use of dismissal legislation: an empirical analysis using Spanish data," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 151-167, April.

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