Why Unions Reduce Wage Inequality: A model of union formation and goal setting
AbstractNumerous empirical studies show that unions reduce wage differences. But almost no attempts have been made to understand why. This paper combines a model of wage bargaining with internal union politics and efficiency wages. I show that unions may pursue egalitarian wage policies partly for strategic reasons, to increase the wages of all their members. I also show that an egalitarian wage policy may be a condition for unity among blue-collar workers with different productivity. These results have implications for the current debate about caps on collectively negotiated minimum wages in Europe.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 539.
Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 18 Sep 2012
Date of revision: 21 Feb 2013
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
More information through EDIRC
inequality; wage differences; minimum wages; trade unions; collective negotiations;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2012-09-30 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LMA-2012-09-30 (Labor Markets - Supply, Demand, & Wages)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Richard B. Freeman, 1980.
"Unionism and the dispersion of wages,"
Industrial and Labor Relations Review,
ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(1), pages 3-23, October.
- Hibbs Jr., Douglas A. & Locking, Håkan, 2000.
"Wage Dispersion and Productive Efficiency: Evidence For Sweden,"
Working Papers in Economics
21, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
- Hibbs, Douglas A, Jr & Locking, Hakan, 2000. "Wage Dispersion and Productive Efficiency: Evidence for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 755-82, October.
- Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
- Skedinger, Per, 2006.
"Minimum wages and employment in Swedish hotels and restaurants,"
Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 259-290, April.
- Skedinger, Per, 2002. "Minimum Wages and Employment in Swedish Hotels and Restaurants," Working Paper Series 584, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Skedinger, Per, 2002. "Minimum wages and employment in Swedish hotels and restaurants," Working Paper Series 2002:18, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
- David Card, 1992. "Do minimum wages reduce employment? A case study of California, 1987û1989," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 38-54, October.
- John DiNardo & David S. Lee, 2004. "Economic Impacts of New Unionization On Private Sector Employers: 1984-2001," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1383-1441, November.
- James B. Rebitzer & Lowell J. Taylor, 1991.
"The Consequences of Minimum Wage Laws: Some New Theoretical Ideas,"
NBER Working Papers
3877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rebitzer, James B. & Taylor, Lowell J., 1995. "The consequences of minimum wage laws Some new theoretical ideas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 245-255, February.
- Horn, Henrik & Wolinsky, Asher, 1988. "Worker Substitutability and Patterns of Unionisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 484-97, June.
- Booth, Alison L, 1984. "A Public Choice Model of Trade Union Behaviour and Membership," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 883-98, December.
- Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994.
"Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-93, September.
- David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," NBER Working Papers 4509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kalai, Ehud & Smorodinsky, Meir, 1975. "Other Solutions to Nash's Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 513-18, May.
- Gottfries, N. & Sjostrom, Y., 1998.
"Insider Bargaining Power, Starting Wages, and Involuntary Unemployment,"
1998-10, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
- Gottfries, Nils & Sjostrom, Tomas, 2000. " Insider Bargaining Power, Starting Wages and Involuntary Unemployment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(4), pages 669-88, December.
- Gottfries, Nils & Sjöström, Tomas, 1998. "Insider Bargaining Power, Starting Wages, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Paper Series 1998:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
- David Card & Thomas Lemieux & W. Craig Riddell, 2004. "Unions and Wage Inequality," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(4), pages 519-562, October.
- Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
- Davidson, Carl, 1988. "Multiunit Bargaining in Oligopolistic Industries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 397-422, July.
- Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
- repec:pri:indrel:694 is not listed on IDEAS
- Agell, Jonas & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1993. " Egalitarianism and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 559-79, December.
- Weiss, Andrew W, 1980. "Job Queues and Layoffs in Labor Markets with Flexible Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 526-38, June.
- Jun, Byoung Heon, 1989. "Non-cooperative Bargaining and Union Formation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 59-76, January.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Eva-Lena Neth).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.