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Trade Unions and the Burden of the Public Debt

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  • Erling Steigum

Abstract

This paper looks at intergenerational welfare effects of increased public debt when union power in pay bargaining generates structural unemployment. Debt policy works through capital accumulation as well as the price of a fixed asset that is owned by the old generation. Under a reasonable condition, the debt burden on future generations from postponement of the labor tax is larger than in the case of no union power. Under this condition, increased union power also reduces the consumption of future generations.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2001/wp-cesifo-2001-10/cesifo_wp587.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 587.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_587

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Keywords: public debt; trade unions; intergenerational welfare;

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  1. Kotlikoff, Laurence J., 2002. "Generational policy," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 27, pages 1873-1932 Elsevier.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational Accounts: A Meaningful Alternative to Deficit Accounting," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 55-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 1994. "Underemployment, Capital Irreversibility and Growth under Trade Unionism," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1994003, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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  16. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-47, April.
  17. Michael B. Devereux & Ben Lockwood, 1989. "Trade Unions, Non-Binding Wage Agreements, and Capital Accumulation," Working Papers 743, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  18. Eric M. Engen & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Precautionary Saving," NBER Working Papers 5252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Oswald, Andrew J., 1993. "Efficient contracts are on the labour demand curve : Theory and facts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 85-113, June.
  20. Pissarides, Christopher A., 1998. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages; The role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-183, January.
  21. de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 1995. " Underemployment, Irreversibilities and Growth under Trade Unionism," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(3), pages 385-99, September.
  22. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1986. "Fiscal Policies in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 564-94, June.
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