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Can Monopoly Unionism Explain Publically Induced Retirement?

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  • Casey B Mulligan

Abstract

It has long been suggested that trade unions take actions and favor public policies that reduce the quantity of labor so that union members might enjoy greater labor incomes. Can this explain the prevalence of generous public pension programs inducing retirement? I suggest not, by formalizing the monopoly unionism model and showing how labor's interest in reducing the quantity of labor cannot explain why the old are induced to retire rather than discouraging work among workers of all ages. Discouraging work of a subset of union workers introduces allocative inefficiencies without promoting the objectives of the monopoly union. And, unless the old have a disproportionate influence within the union, union interests cannot explain why public pension programs are so generous.

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Paper provided by Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State in its series University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State with number 157.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fth:chices:157

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  1. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1992. "Social Security and Medicare Policy from the Perspective of Generational Accounting," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 6, pages 129-145 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Microfoundations and macro implications of indivisible labor," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 126, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Kotlikoff, L.J. & Raffelhuschen, B., 1999. "Generational Accounting around the Globe," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 195, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  4. Jensen, Svend E Hougaard & Raffelhuschen, Bernd, 1997. "Generational and Gender-Specific Aspects of the Tax and Transfer System in Denmark," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 615-35.
  5. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995. "A positive theory of social security," Economics Working Papers 108, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Kremer, Michael & Thomson, James, 1998. " Why Isn't Convergence Instantaneous? Young Workers, Old Workers, and Gradual Adjustment," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 5-28, March.
  7. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Gerontocracy, retirement, and social security," Economics Working Papers 383, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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  9. Robert P. Hagemann & Christoph John, 1997. "Fiscal Reform In Sweden: What Generational Accounting Tells Us," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(3), pages 1-12, 07.
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  16. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "Generational Accounting around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number auer99-1.
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Cited by:
  1. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Mulligan, Casey & Reed, Robert, 2003. "Labor Market Search and Optimal Retirement Policy," Staff General Research Papers 10251, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Casey B. Mulligan, 2000. "Induced Retirement, Social Security, and the Pyramid Mirage," NBER Working Papers 7679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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