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Efficiency Wages Revisited: The Internal Reference Perspective

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  • Danthine, Jean-Pierre
  • Kurmann, Andre

Abstract

The missing wage rigidity in general equilibrium models of efficiency wages is an artifact of the external wage reference perspective conventionally adopted by the literature. Efficiency wage models based on an internal wage reference perspective are capable of generating strong wage rigidity. We propose a structural model of efficiency wages that is broadly consistent with the reported evidence on fairness in labour relations and rent-sharing. Our model provides a robust explanation for wage rigidity and procyclical effort. It also rationalizes reciprocal behaviour by workers and the observation that firm productivity is a significant predictor of wage setting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4503.

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Date of creation: Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4503

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Keywords: efficiency wages; reciprocity; rent-sharing; wage rigidity;

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References

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  1. Collard, Fabrice & de la Croix, David, 1996. "Gift exchange and the business cycle: the fair wage strikes back," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1997008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 00 Apr 1997.
  2. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  3. Jean-Pierre Danthine & Andre Kurmann, 2004. "Fair Wages in a New Keynesian Model of the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 107-142, January.
  4. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
  5. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  6. Yellen, Janet L, 1984. "Efficiency Wage Models of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 200-205, May.
  7. Salop, Steven C, 1979. "A Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 117-25, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "Are Real Wages Rigid Downwards?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1983, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Strifler, Matthias & Beissinger, Thomas, 2012. "Fairness Considerations in Labor Union Wage Setting: A Theoretical Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 6799, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Paulo Bastos & Natália P. Monteiro & Odd Rune Straume, . "Firm Heterogeneity and Wages in Unionised Labour Markets: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers 08/38, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  4. Mondal, Debasis & Gupta, Manash Ranjan, 2008. "Intellectual property rights protection and unemployment in a North South model: A theoretical analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 463-484, May.
  5. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labour Market Effects of Trade Liberalisation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2000, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb, 2009. "A note on internal and external reference in efficiency wage models," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 96(1), pages 79-86, January.
  7. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "How strong is the case for downward real wage rigidity?," Working Papers 07-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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