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Organized Labor and the Scope of International Specialization

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  • Staiger, Robert W

Abstract

This paper examines the interaction between union wages and the international pattern of production and trade. If union goods are heterogeneous in labor intensity, the introduction of an active union in the domestic country causes only the least labor-intensive range of union goods to be produced there, with goods of greatest labor intensity produced abroad because of the relatively high cost of domestic union labor. A narrowing of the scope of domestic union production will eliminate relatively labor-intensive goods, leading a rent-maximizing union to raise its union premium. The implications of this union behavior for comparative statics results are considered. Copyright 1988 by University of Chicago Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 96 (1988)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 1022-47

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:96:y:1988:i:5:p:1022-47

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References

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  1. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-39, December.
  2. Freeman, Richard B & Medoff, James L, 1982. "Substitution between Production Labor and Other Inputs in Unionized and Nonunionized Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(2), pages 220-33, May.
  3. Diewert, W E, 1974. "The Effects of Unionization on Wages and Employment: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 319-39, September.
  4. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  5. Paul Krugman, 1986. "Strategic Trade Policy and the New International Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610450, December.
  6. Freeman, Richard B & Medoff, James L, 1981. "The Impact of the Percentage Organized on Union and Nonunion Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(4), pages 561-72, November.
  7. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "Trade Unions, Wages and Unemployment: What Can Simple Models Tell Us?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 526-45, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Straume, Odd Rune, 2007. "Technology resistance and globalisation with trade unions: the choice between employment protection and flexicurity," Working Papers in Economics 13/07, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  2. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Meland, Frode & Straume, Odd Rune, 2005. "Globalization and Union Opposition to Technological Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 4836, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Huizinga, H.P., 1995. "International trade and migration in the presence of sector-specific labor quality pricing distortions," Discussion Paper 1995-39, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Meland, Frode & Straume, Odd Rune, 2005. "Can deunionization lead to international outsourcing?," Working Papers in Economics 15/05, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  5. Gaston, Noel & Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "Union wage sensitivity to trade and protection: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 1-25, August.
  6. David G. Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2003. "What Effect do Unions Have on Wages Now and Would 'What Do Unions Do' Be Surprised?," NBER Working Papers 9973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Odd Rune Straume & Lars Sørgard, 2006. "National versus international mergers in unionized oligopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 212-233, 03.
  8. David Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2004. "The Union Wage Premium in the US and the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0612, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Copeland, Brian R & Taylor, M Scott, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 755-87, August.
  10. Huizinga, Harry, 1999. "A two-region model of redistribution, migration and international trade," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 335-354, March.
  11. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Straume, Odd Rune, 2010. "Employment protection versus flexicurity: on technology adoption in unionised firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7919, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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