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Uncertainty and labor contract durations

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  • Robert Rich
  • Joe Tracy

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical investigation into the relationship between ex ante U.S. labor contract durations and uncertainty over the period 1970 to 1995. We construct measures of inflation uncertainty as well as aggregate nominal and real uncertainty. The results not only corroborate previous findings of an inverse relationship between contract durations and inflation uncertainty, but also document that this relationship extends to both measures of aggregate uncertainty. We also explore the robustness of this relationship to various measures of inflation uncertainty that have appeared in the literature.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 106.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:106

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Keywords: Labor contract ; Inflation (Finance);

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References

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  1. Benjamin M. Friedman & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1996. "A Price Target for U.S. Monetary Policy? Lessons from the Experience with Money Growth Targets," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 77-146.
  2. Danziger, Leif, 1988. "Real Shocks, Efficient Risk Sharing, and the Duration of Labor Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 435-40, May.
  3. Peter C. Cramton & Morley Gunderson & Joseph S. Tracy, 1995. "The Effect of Collective Bargaining Legislation on Strikes and Wages," NBER Working Papers 5105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-73, September.
  5. David Card, 1984. "An Empirical Model of Wage Indexation Provisions in Union Contracts," NBER Working Papers 1388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Canzoneri, Matthew B., 1980. "Labor contracts and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 241-255, April.
  8. Kevin J. Murphy, 1992. "Determinants of contract duration in collective bargaining agreements," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(2), pages 352-365, January.
  9. Wallace, Frederick H, 2001. "The Effects of Shock Size and Type on Labor-Contract Duration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 658-81, July.
  10. Mullineaux, Donald J, 1980. "Unemployment, Industrial Production, and Inflation Uncertainty in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 163-69, May.
  11. Schnell, John F & Gramm, Cynthia L, 1987. "Learning by Striking: Estimates of the Teetotaler Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(2), pages 221-41, April.
  12. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-59, July.
  13. Gali, Jordi, 1992. "How Well Does the IS-LM Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 709-38, May.
  14. Wallace Hendricks & Larry M. Kahn, 1983. "Cost-of-living clauses in union contracts: Determinants and effects," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 36(3), pages 447-460, April.
  15. Christofides, Louis N, 1985. "The Impact of Controls on Wage Contract Duration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 161-68, March.
  16. Cukierman, Alex & Wachtel, Paul, 1979. "Differential Inflationary Expectations and the Variability of the Rate of Inflation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 595-609, September.
  17. Victor Zarnowitz & Louis A. Lambros, 1983. "Consensus and Uncertainty in Economic Prediction," NBER Working Papers 1171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Vroman, Susan B, 1989. "Inflation Uncertainty and Contract Duration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(4), pages 677-81, November.
  19. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Leif Danziger & Gee San, 1982. "Cost-of-Living Adjustment Clauses in Union Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Cousineau, Jean-Michel & Lacroix, Robert & Bilodeau, Danielle, 1983. "The Determination of Escalator Clauses in Collective Agreements," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(2), pages 196-202, May.
  21. Rich, R W & Raymond, J E & Butler, J S, 1992. "The Relationship between Forecast Dispersion and Forecast Uncertainty: Evidence from a Survey Data-ARCH Model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(2), pages 131-48, April-Jun.
  22. Pagan, A R & Hall, A D & Trivedi, P K, 1983. "Assessing the Variability of Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 585-96, October.
  23. Levi, Maurice D & Makin, John H, 1980. "Inflation Uncertainty and the Phillips Curve: Some Empirical Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1022-27, December.
  24. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  25. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
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