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Pattern bargaining

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  • Robert Marshall
  • Antonio Merlo

Abstract

Many unions in the United States have for several years engaged in what is known as pattern bargaining—a union determines a sequence for negotiations with firms within an industry where the agreement with the first firm becomes the take-it-or-leave-it offer by the union for all subsequent negotiations. In this paper, we show that pattern bargaining is preferred by a union to both simultaneous industrywide negotiations and sequential negotiations without a pattern. In recent years, unions have increasingly moved away from patterns that equalized wage rates across firms when these patterns did not equalize interfirm labor costs. Allowing for interfirm productivity differentials within an industry, we show that for small interfirm productivity differentials, the union most prefers a pattern in wages, but for a sufficiently wide differential, the union prefers a pattern in labor costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 220.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:220

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Related research

Keywords: Labor contract ; Labor unions;

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References

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  1. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000387, David K. Levine.
  2. Dobson, Paul W., 1994. "Multifirm unions and the incentive to adopt pattern bargaining in oligopoly," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 87-100, January.
  3. Horn, H. & Wolinsky, A., 1988. "Bilateral Monopolies And Incentives For Merger," Papers 410, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  4. Daniel Diermeier & Roger B. Myerson, 1994. "Bargaining," Discussion Papers 1089, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Kathryn J. Ready, 1990. "Is pattern bargaining dead?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 272-279, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Valletti, T & Iozzi, A, . "Vertical bargaining and countervailing power," Working Papers 5958, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
  2. Chongvilaivan, Aekapol & Hur, Jung & Riyanto, Yohanes E., 2013. "Labor union bargaining and firm organizational structure," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 116-124.
  3. Milliou, Chrysovalantou & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 2007. "Upstream horizontal mergers, vertical contracts, and bargaining," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 963-987, October.
  4. Alfonso Arpaia & Karl Pichelmann, 2007. "Nominal and real wage flexibility in EMU," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 299-328, November.
  5. Begoña Garcia Mariñoso & Izabela Jelovac & Pau Olivella, 2011. "External referencing and pharmaceutical price negotiation," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(6), pages 737-756, June.
  6. Marx, Leslie M. & Shaffer, Greg, 2007. "Rent shifting and the order of negotiations," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 1109-1125, October.
  7. Krasteva, Silvana & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2012. "On the role of confidentiality and deadlines in bilateral negotiations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 714-730.
  8. Stenbacka, Rune & Tombak, Mihkel, 2012. "Make and buy: Balancing bargaining power," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 391-402.
  9. Marx, Leslie M. & Shaffer, Greg, 2010. "Break-up fees and bargaining power in sequential contracting," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 451-463, September.
  10. Caprice, Stéphane & von Schlippenbach, Vanessa, 2013. "One-stop shopping as a cause of slotting fees: A rent-shifting mechanism," DICE Discussion Papers 97, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  11. Chrysovalantou Miliou & Emmanuel Petrakis, 2005. "Upstream Horizontal Mergers, Bargaining and Vertical Contracts," Working Papers 0509, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
  12. Donna Brown & Peter Ingram & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2004. "Everyone's A Winner? Union Effects on Persistence in Private Sector Wage Settlements: Longitudinal Evidence from Britain," School of Economics Discussion Papers 1104, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  13. Creane, Anthony & Davidson, Carl, 2011. "The trade-offs from pattern bargaining with uncertain production costs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 246-262, February.
  14. Noriaki Matsushima & Laixun Zhao, 2010. "Multimarket linkages, buyer power, and the productivity puzzle," ISER Discussion Paper 0797, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  15. Clark, Derek J. & Pereau, Jean Christophe, 2009. "Fragmented property rights and royalty bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 546-553, October.
  16. Chrysovalantou Milliou & Emmanuel Petrakis, 2005. "Upstream Horizontal Mergers, Bargaining, Vertical Contracts," Economics Working Papers we051507, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.

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