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Ambiguity aversion and the absence of wage indexation

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  • Mukerji, Sujoy
  • Tallon, Jean-Marc

Abstract

This paper analyzes optimal wage contracting assuming agents are not subjective expected utility maximizers but are, instead, ambiguity (or uncertainty) averse decision makers who maximize Choquet expected utility. We show that such agents will choose not to include any indexation coverage in their wage contracts even when inflation is uncertain, unless the perceived inflation uncertainty is high enough. Significantly, the exercise does not presume any exogenous costs (e.g. transactions costs) of including indexation links.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 51 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 653-670

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:51:y:2004:i:3:p:653-670

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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References

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  1. Gray, Jo Anna, 1978. "On Indexation and Contract Length," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 1-18, February.
  2. Jovanic, Boyan & Ueda, Masako, 1997. "Contracts and Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 700-708, August.
  3. Mokerji, S. & Tallon, J.M., 2000. "Ambiguity Aversion and the Absence of Indexed Debt," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 2000.53, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  4. Daniel Ellsberg, 2000. "Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7605, David K. Levine.
  5. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-87, May.
  6. Robert J. Shiller, 1997. "Public Resistance to Indexation: A Puzzle," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 159-228.
  7. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
  8. Farber, Henry S, 1978. "Individual Preferences and Union Wage Determination: The Case of the United Mine Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 923-42, October.
  9. Mukerji, S., 1997. "Ambiguity aversion and incompleteness of contractual form," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9715, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  10. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent & Thomas D. Tallarini Jr., 1997. "Robust Permanent Income and Pricing," Levine's Working Paper Archive 596, David K. Levine.
  11. Mukerji, S., 1995. "Understanding the nonadditive probability decision model," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9517, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  12. Sujoy Mukerji & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2000. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Financial Markets," Economics Series Working Papers 46, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Holland, A Steven, 1995. "Inflation and Wage Indexation in the Postwar United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 172-76, February.
  14. Jovanovic, B. & Ueda, M., 1996. "Contracts and Money," Working Papers 96-23, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  15. Tallon, Jean-Marc, 1998. "Asymmetric Information, Nonadditive Expected Utility, and the Information Revealed by Prices: An Example," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 329-42, May.
  16. Dow, James & Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro da Costa, 1992. "Uncertainty Aversion, Risk Aversion, and the Optimal Choice of Portfolio," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 197-204, January.
  17. Card, David, 1986. "An Empirical Model of Wage Indexation Provisions in Union Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S144-75, June.
  18. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Wage indexation and macroeconomics stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 107-147, January.
  19. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
  20. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Subir Bose & Arup Daripa, 2008. "A Dynamic Mechanism and Surplus Extraction Under Ambiguity," Discussion Papers in Economics 08/24, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  2. Dirk Hackbarth & Jianjun Maio, 2007. "The Dynamics of Mergers and Acquisitions in Oligopolistic Industries," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-017, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  3. Martin Cincibuch & Martina Hornikova, 2007. "Measuring the Financial Markets' Perception of EMU Enlargement: The Role of Ambiguity Aversion," Working Papers 2007/13, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  4. Jianjun Miao & Neng Wang, 2010. "Risk, uncertainty,and option exercise," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-029, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. Marie-Louise Vierø, 2006. "Contracting in Vague Environments," Working Papers 1106, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Shin-ichi Fukuda, 2008. "Knightian Uncertainty and Poverty Trap in a Model of Economic Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 652-663, July.
  7. Eichberger, Jurgen & Grant, Simon & Kelsey, David, 2007. "Updating Choquet beliefs," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(7-8), pages 888-899, September.
  8. Scott Condie & Jayant Ganguli, 2011. "Informational efficiency with ambiguous information," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 229-242, October.
  9. Fujikawa, Takemi, 2009. "The hot stove effect in repeated-play decision making under ambiguity," MPRA Paper 17647, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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