Relative consumption, working time, and trade unions
AbstractStatus considerations with respect to consumption give rise to negative externalities because individuals do not take into account that their decisions affect the relative consumption position of others. Further, status concerns create incentives for excessive labour supply in competitive markets. We show that trade unions which are unable to internalise the externality can nevertheless mitigate the resulting distortion. The reason is that wages above the market clearing level are only feasible if people work less and, therefore, fewer hours than in a competitive market. Accordingly, the theoretical model establishes that trade unions can have a welfare-enhancing role in a world with relative consumption effects.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.
Volume (Year): 24 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
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Externality; Hours of work; Relative consumption; Trade union;
Other versions of this item:
- Goerke, Laszlo & Hillesheim, Inga, 2013. "Relative Consumption, Working Time, and Trade Unions," IZA Discussion Papers 7471, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Laszlo Goerke & Inga Hillesheim, 2013. "Relative Consumption, Working Time, and Trade Unions," CESifo Working Paper Series 4318, CESifo Group Munich.
- Inga Hillesheim & Laszlo Goerke, 2013. "Relative Consumption, Working Time, and Trade Unions," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201310, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
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