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Fair wages, labor relations and asset returns

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  • Addessi, William
  • Busato, Francesco

Abstract

The paper investigates the nexus between labor and financial markets, focusing on how labor union's attitude in the wage-setting process and the firm's investment strategy affect asset returns. We assume that the labor union's relative preferences between wage and employment depend on selected measures of firm's financial performance. The paper shows that if the labor union ties its preference for wage to the firm's dividends (or to any other quantity measuring available liquidity), then the volatility of the firm's returns increases. Consequently, equities have to grant high expected returns in order to remunerate the increased volatility. This mechanism offers an explanation for the "equity premium" (that is the difference between the equity return rate and the risk free rate). It is a welcome result that the simulated excess return is about the empirical estimate and that it is obtained with a plausibly low parameterization of the shareholders' risk aversion.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Stability.

Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 410-430

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Handle: RePEc:eee:finsta:v:5:y:2009:i:4:p:410-430

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jfstabil

Related research

Keywords: Asset pricing Business fluctuations Labor union models;

References

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  18. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, George & Riedl, Arno, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-59, May.
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  22. Levine, David I, 1993. "Fairness, Markets, and Ability to Pay: Evidence from Compensation Executives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1241-59, December.
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