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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. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
  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. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1990. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," NBER Working Papers 2737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Card, David, 1986. "An Empirical Model of Wage Indexation Provisions in Union Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S144-75, June.
  5. 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.
  6. Peter Cramton & Morley Gunderson & Joseph Tracy, 1999. "The Effect of Collective Bargaining Legislation on Strikes and Wages," Papers of Peter Cramton 99res, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 30 Jul 1998.
  7. Vroman, Susan B, 1989. "Inflation Uncertainty and Contract Duration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(4), pages 677-81, November.
  8. 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.
  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. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  11. 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.
  12. Canzoneri, Matthew B., 1980. "Labor contracts and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 241-255, April.
  13. James J. Heckman, 1977. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," NBER Working Papers 0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Leif Danziger & Gee San, 1984. "Cost-of-Living Adjustment Clauses in Union Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Christofides, Louis N, 1985. "The Impact of Controls on Wage Contract Duration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 161-68, March.
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