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Workers’ skills, product quality and industry equilibrium

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  • GABSZEWICZ, Jean

    ()
    (Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain la Neuve, Belgium)

  • TURRINI, Alessandro

    (Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain la Neuve, Belgium)

Abstract

In this paper we develop a model of a vertically differentiated industry where the production of higher quality goods needs a higher fraction of specialized labour. In the first stage, firms choose the quality of their products, in the second, both good prices and skilled workers’ wages are determined. We show that in duopoly, though supplying different variants of the product, firms tend to cluster either at the bottom or at the top of the quality ladder, depending on skilled labour availability. This switch in equilibrium qualities creates a discontinuous behaviour for the wage rate of skilled workers. When the supply of skilled labour is made endogenous, two equilibria are simultaneously possible: one with low-skill, low quality, the other with high-skill, high-quality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 1997055.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 1997
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:1997055

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Related research

Keywords: Quality competition; strategic effects; endogenous market structure; skills investments; multiple equilibria.;

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Cited by:
  1. GABSZEWICZ, Jean & TURRINI, Alessandro, 1999. "Workers’skills and product selection," CORE Discussion Papers 1999006, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Lutz, Stefan & Turrini, Alessandro, 1999. "Skills, labour costs and vertically differentiated industries: A general equilibrium analysis," ZEI Working Papers B 26-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  3. E. Bacchiega & O. Bonroy, 2012. "Vertical relations and number of channels in quality-differentiated markets," Working Papers wp823, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  4. E. Bacchiega & E. Randon & L. Zirulia, 2010. "Strategic Accessibility Competition," Working Papers 696, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  5. E. Bacchiega & A. Minniti, 2013. "Training and Product Quality in Unionized Oligopolies," Working Papers wp871, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  6. Bhattacharyya, Ranajoy & Saha, Bibhas, 2011. "Wage bargaining and quality competition," MPRA Paper 30968, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Lionel Fontagné & Michael Freudenberg & Guillaume Gaulier, 2006. "A Systematic Decomposition of World Trade into Horizontal and Vertical IIT," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(3), pages 459-475, October.
  8. Techawiboonwong, Atthawit & Yenradee, Pisal & Das, Sanchoy K., 2006. "A master scheduling model with skilled and unskilled temporary workers," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 798-809, October.
  9. BACCHIEGA, Emanuele, 2004. "Vertical differentiation, wage bargaining and intra-industry trade liberalization," CORE Discussion Papers 2004028, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Lutz, Stefan & Turrini, Alessandro, 2006. "A general equilibrium model with vertically differentiated industries, skilled labour and trade," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-19, January.

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