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Limited Commitment Models of the Labour Market

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  • Jonathan Thomas
  • Tim Worrall

Abstract

We present an overview of models of long-term self-enforcing labor contracts in which risk sharing is the dominant motive for contractual solutions. A base model is developed which is sufficiently general to encompass the two-agent problem central to most of the literature, including variable hours. We consider two-sided limited commitment and look at its implications for aggregate labor market variables. We consider the implications for empirical testing and the available empirical evidence. We also consider the one-sided limited commitment problem for which there exists a considerable amount of empirical support.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2109.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2109

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Keywords: labor contracts; self-enforcing contracts; unemployment; business cycle;

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References

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  1. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Long Term Employment Contracts," NBER Working Papers 1831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dubois, Pierre & Jullien, Bruno & Magnac, Thierry, 2007. "Formal and Informal Risk Sharing in LDCs: Theory and Empirical Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2842, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Christian Calmès, 2007. "Self-Enforcing Labour Contracts and Macroeconomic Dynamics," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 200-213, May.
  4. Andy Snell & Jonathan P. Thomas, 2010. "Labor Contracts, Equal Treatment, and Wage-Unemployment Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 98-127, July.
  5. Haltiwanger, John & Waldman, Michael, 1986. "Insurance and Labor Market Contracting: An Analysis of the Capital Market Assumption," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 355-75, July.
  6. Sigouin, Christian, 2004. "Self-enforcing employment contracts and business cycle fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 339-373, March.
  7. Devereux, Paul J. & Hart, Robert A., 2005. "The Spot Market Matters: Evidence on Implicit Contracts from Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 1497, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  9. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2000. "Mutual Insurance, Individual Savings and Limited Commitment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(2), pages 216-246, April.
  10. Malcomson, James M., 1999. "Individual employment contracts," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 2291-2372 Elsevier.
  11. Dirk Krueger & Harald Uhlig, 2005. "Competitive Risk Sharing Contracts with One-Sided Commitment," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-003, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  12. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  13. Gauthier, Celine & Poitevin, Michel & Gonzalez, Patrick, 1997. "Ex Ante Payments in Self-Enforcing Risk-Sharing Contracts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 106-144, September.
  14. Shin, Donggyun, 1994. "Cyclicality of real wages among young men," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 137-142, October.
  15. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1988. "Self-enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 541-54, October.
  16. Paul J. Devereux, 2001. "The Cyclicality of real wages within employer-employee matches," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 835-850, July.
  17. Michelacci, Claudio & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 2005. "Financial Markets and Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 4867, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Michele Boldrin & Michael Horvath, 1994. "Labor Contracts and Business Cycles," Discussion Papers 1068, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  19. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  20. Solon, Gary & Barsky, Robert & Parker, Jonathan A, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important Is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25, February.
  21. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1991. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 665-88, August.
  22. Leena Rudanko, 2008. "Labor Market Dynamics under Long Term Wage Contracting," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2008-003, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  23. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 1635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Shin, Donggyun & Shin, Kwanho, 2008. "Why Are The Wages Of Job Stayers Procyclical?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 1-21, February.
  25. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1995. "Is the Behavior of Hours Worked Consistent with Implicit Contract Theory?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 743-68, August.
  26. Christian Sigouin, 2000. "Self-enforcing Employment Contracts and Business Cycle Fluctuations," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 127, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  27. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rudanko, Leena, 2009. "Labor market dynamics under long-term wage contracting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 170-183, March.
  2. Sangeeta Pratap & Erwan Quintin, 2010. "Financial Crises and Labor Market Turbulence," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 428, Hunter College Department of Economics.
  3. Martins, Pedro S. & Solon, Gary & Thomas, Jonathan P., 2010. "Measuring What Employers Really Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 4757, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Oikonomou, Rigas, 2013. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Private Insurance," MPRA Paper 55726, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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