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Labour Contracts, Equal Treatment and Wage-Unemployment Dynamics

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Abstract

This paper analyses a model in which .rms cannot pay discriminate based on year of entry to a .rm, and develops an equilibrium model of wage dynamics and unemployment. The model is developed under the assumption of worker mobility, so that workers can costlessly quit jobs at any time. Firms on the other hand are committed to contracts. Thus the model is related to Beaudry and DiNardo (1991). We solve for the dynamics of wages and unemployment, and show that real wages do not necessarily clear the labor market. Using sectoral productivity data from the post-war US economy, we assess the ability of the model to match actual unemployment and wage series. We also show that equal treatment follows in our model from the assumption of at-will employment contracting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh in its series ESE Discussion Papers with number 144.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:144

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Keywords: Labor contracts; business cycle; unemployment; equal treatment; cohort effects;

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References

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  1. 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).
  2. Michael W. L. Elsby, 2005. "Evaluating the economic significance of downward nominal wage rigidity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19882, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Bengt Holmstrom, 1980. "Equilibrium Long-Term Labor Contracts," Discussion Papers 414R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Donggyun Shin & Kwanho Shin, 2003. "Why Are The Wages of Job Stayers Procyclical?," ISER Discussion Paper 0573, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  5. Lorne Carmichael, 1983. "Firm-Specific Human Capital and Promotion Ladders," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 251-258, Spring.
  6. Agell, J. & Lundborg, P., 1999. "Survey Evidence on Wage Rigidity and Unemployment: Sweden in the 1990s," Papers 1999:12, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  7. McDonald, J.T. & Worswick, C., 1997. "Wages, Implicit Contracts and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Canadian Micro Data," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 588, The University of Melbourne.
  8. Jonathan P. Thomas, 2005. "Fair pay and a Wage-Bill Argument for low Real Wage Cyclicality and Excessive Employment Variability," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 833-859, October.
  9. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
  10. Gottfries, Nils, 1992. "Insiders, Outsiders, and Nominal Wage Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 252-70, April.
  11. John Moore, 2007. "Stable Sets And Steady Wages," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(5), pages 721-730, November.
  12. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Job Loss, Job Finding, and Unemployment in the U.S. Economy Over the Past Fifty Years," NBER Working Papers 11678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gottfries, N. & Sjostrom, Y., 1998. "Insider Bargaining Power, Starting Wages, and Involuntary Unemployment," Papers 1998-10, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  14. Louis N. Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Wage rigidity in Canadian collective bargaining agreements," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 429-448, April.
  15. Carruth, Alan A & Oswald, Andrew J, 1987. "On Union Preferences and Labour Market Models: Insiders and Outsi ders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(386), pages 431-45, June.
  16. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
  17. Truman F. Bewley, 1999. "Work Motivation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1209, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  18. 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.
  19. Truman Bewley, 1999. "Work motivation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 35-49.
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Cited by:
  1. Jonathan Thomas & Andy Snell, . " Real and Nominal Wage Rigidity in a Model of Equal-Treatment Contracting," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0708, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  2. Martins, Pedro S. & Snell, Andy & Thomas, Jonathan P., 2009. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidity in a Model of Equal-Treatment Contracting," IZA Discussion Papers 4346, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Guido Menzio & Espen Moen, 2008. "Worker Replacement," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-040, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2007. "Limited Commitment Models Of The Labour Market," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(5), pages 750-773, November.
  5. Pedro S. Martins & Gary Solon & Jonathan Thomas, 2010. "Measuring What Employers Really Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 15767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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