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Holdup in Oligopsonistic Labour Markets: A New Role for the Minimum Wage

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  • Kaas, Leo

    ()
    (University of Konstanz)

  • Madden, Paul

    ()
    (University of Manchester)

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Abstract

We consider a labour market model of oligopsonistic wage competition and show that there is a holdup problem although workers do not have any bargaining power. When a firm invests more, it pays a higher wage in order to attract workers from competitors. Because workers participate in the returns on investment while only firms bear the costs, investment is inefficiently low. A binding minimum wage can achieve the first–best level of investment, both in the short run for a given number of firms and in the long run when the number of firms is endogenous.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2043.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2043

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Keywords: minimum wage; investment; holdup;

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References

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 6740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, September.
  3. Kaas, Leo & Madden, Paul, 2008. "Minimum Wages and Welfare in a Hotelling Duopsony," IZA Discussion Papers 3434, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 1996. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Labor and Demography 9603001, EconWPA, revised 21 May 1996.
  5. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 1999. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 827-49, November.
  6. Bhaskar, V. & To, Ted, 2003. "Oligopsony and the distribution of wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 371-399, April.
  7. Hart, Oliver D, 1985. "Monopolistic Competition in the Spirit of Chamberlin: A General Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 529-46, October.
  8. N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 48-58, Spring.
  9. Malcomson, J., 1998. "Individual employment contracts," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9804, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  10. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  11. Cahuc, P. & Michel, P., 1992. "Minimum Wage, Unemployment and Growth," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 92.35, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
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Cited by:
  1. Angel-Urdinola, Diego F., 2008. "Can the introduction of a minimum wage in FYR Macedonia decrease the gender wage gap?," Social Protection Discussion Papers 46851, The World Bank.
  2. L. Kaas & P. Madden, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Welfare in a Hotelling Duopsony," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0604, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  3. Kaas, Leo, 2010. "Human capital externalities with monopsonistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 95-97, February.

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