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Investigating Rationality in Wage-Setting

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  • Sonia R. Bhalotra

    (University of Cambridge and University of Bristol)

Abstract

This paper investigates the efficiency wage hypothesis and derives a tractable expression for the profit loss incurred by deviations from the efficiency wage. The extent of the wage deviation can be inferred from production function parameters. The resulting profit loss shown to depend upon the curvature of th effort function and the employment and wage elasticities of output. If the profit loss is small then near rationality may be claimed even if the hypothesis of rationality is statistically rejected. An application to Indian manufacturing is presented, which suggests that rationality cannot be rejected and that the profit function is remarkably flat aroung the optimum. This is consistent with positive effort returns to increasing the wage beyond its efficient level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1759.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1759

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  1. Levine, David I, 1992. "Can Wage Increases Pay for Themselves? Tests with a Production Function," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1102-15, September.
  2. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1974. "Alternative Theories of Wage Determination and Unemployment in LDC'S: The Labor Turnover Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 194-227, May.
  3. Mazumdar, Dipak, 1976. "The Rural-Urban Wage Gap, Migration, and the Shadow Wage," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 406-25, November.
  4. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 1906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John H. Cochrane, 1988. "The Sensitivity of Tests of the Intertemporal Allocation of Consumption to Near-Rational Alternatives," NBER Working Papers 2730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Errors in Variables in Panel Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
  8. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  9. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  10. Muellbauer, John, 1984. "Aggregate Production Functions and Productivity Measurement: A New Look," CEPR Discussion Papers 34, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Akerlof, George A, 1984. "Gift Exchange and Efficiency-Wage Theory: Four Views," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 79-83, May.
  12. Bhalotra, Sonia R., 1998. "Changes in utilization and productivity in a deregulating economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 391-420.
  13. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "A Near-rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Intertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 823-38, Supp..
  14. Hsiao,Cheng, 2003. "Analysis of Panel Data," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521818551, Fall.
  15. Alan B. Krueger & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Reflections on the Inter-Industry Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 1968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. D. Mazumdar, 1973. "Labour Supply in Early Industrialization: the Case of the Bombay Textile Industry," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 26(3), pages 477-496, 08.
  17. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Can Small Deviations from Rationality Make Significant Differences to Economic Equilibria?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 708-20, September.
  18. 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.
  19. William T. Dickens, 1986. "Wages, Employment and the Threat of Collective Action by Workers," NBER Working Papers 1856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Craine, Roger, 1973. "On the Service Flow from Labour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(11), pages 39-46, January.
  21. Bhalotra, Sonia R, 1998. "The Puzzle of Jobless Growth in Indian Manufacturing," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(1), pages 5-32, February.
  22. Weiss, Andrew W, 1980. "Job Queues and Layoffs in Labor Markets with Flexible Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 526-38, June.
  23. Demsetz, Harold, 1973. "Industry Structure, Market Rivalry, and Public Policy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-9, April.
  24. Akerlof, George A, 1979. "Irving Fisher on His Head: The Consequences of Constant Threshold-Target Monitoring of Money Holdings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 169-87, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Bhalotra, Sonia R., 1998. "Changes in utilization and productivity in a deregulating economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 391-420.

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