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Cost-of-living escalators in major union contracts

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  • David Card

Abstract

This paper analyzes the price-indexation provisions of a sample of major Canadian collective bargaining agreements concluded between 1968 and 1975. Under these contracts, escalated wage increases comprised about one-third of total wage increases and represented a major source of erosion in the relative wages of skilled workers. The author argues that indexation provisions are usefully characterized by the marginal elasticity of the contractual wage rate to increases in prices. Measures of this responsiveness indicate that, on average, contractual wage rates are only slightly less than unit elastic with respect to price increases. There is considerable variation across industries, however, in the extent to which wages respond to price changes. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 37 (1983)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 34-48

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:37:y:1983:i:1:p:34-48

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Cited by:
  1. Graham, Liam & Snower, Dennis J., 2011. "Hyperbolic Discounting and Positive Optimal Inflation," IZA Discussion Papers 5694, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Louis Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2001. "Nominal Wage Rigidity: Non-Parametric Tests Based on Union Data for Canada," CESifo Working Paper Series 535, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Louis N. Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Wage rigidity in Canadian collective bargaining agreements," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 429-448, April.
  4. Christofides, L. & Peng, C., 2004. "Contract Duration and Indexation in a Period of Real and Nominal Uncertainty," Working Papers 2004-3, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  5. David Card, 1988. "Strikes and Wages: A Test of a Signalling Model," NBER Working Papers 2550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Joseph S. Tracy, 1986. "Seniority Rules and the Gains from Union Organization," NBER Working Papers 2039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Louis Christofides & Chen Peng, 2006. "Major Provisions of Labour Contracts and their Theoretical Coherence," CESifo Working Paper Series 1700, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Louis Christofides & Amy Chen Peng, 2007. "Real Wage Chronologies," CESifo Working Paper Series 2096, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Amy Peng & Louis N. Christofides, 2009. "Real Wage Chronology," Working Papers 011, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.

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