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Can Insider Power Affect Employment?

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  • Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar

    ()
    (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain)

  • Snower, Dennis J.

    ()
    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

Abstract

Do firms reduce employment when their insiders (established, incumbent employees) claim higher wages? The conventional answer in the theoretical literature is that insider power has no influence on employment, provided that the newly hired employees (entrants) receive their reservation wages. The reason given is that an increase in insider wages gives rise to a counterveiling fall in reservation wages, leaving the present value of wage costs unchanged. Our analysis contradicts this conventional answer. We show that, in the context of a stochastic model of the labor market, an increase in insider wages promotes firming in recessions, while leaving hiring in booms unchanged. Thereby insider power reduces average employment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 506.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: May 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: German Economic Review, 2003, 4 (2), 139-150
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp506

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Keywords: insider power; employment; labor demand; wage differentials;

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References

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  1. Gottfries, Nils & Sjöström, Tomas, 1998. "Insider Bargaining Power, Starting Wages, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Paper Series 1998:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Paola Manzini & Dennis Snower, 1996. "On the Foundations of Wage Bargaining," Archive Discussion Papers 9614, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2003. "Insider Power, Wage Discrimination, and Fairness," Labor and Demography 0305003, EconWPA.
  4. Frank, Jeff & Malcomson, James M., 1994. "Trade unions and seniority employment rules," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1595-1611, October.
  5. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "On-the-Job Training and the Effects of Insider Power," IZA Discussion Papers 586, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Burda, Michael C, 1992. " A Note on Firing Costs and Severance Benefits in Equilibrium Unemployment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(3), pages 479-89.
  7. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  8. Vetter, Henrik & Andersen, Torben M, 1994. "Do Turnover Costs Protect Insiders?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(422), pages 124-30, January.
  9. repec:fth:exetec:96/16 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Assar Lindbeck & Dennis J. Snower, 2001. "Insiders versus Outsiders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 165-188, Winter.
  11. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
  12. Frank, Jeff, 1985. "Trade Union Efficiency and Overemployment with Seniority Wage Scales," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380), pages 1021-34, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "On-the-Job Training and the Effects of Insider Power," IZA Discussion Papers 586, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Alessio J. G. Brown & Christian Merkl & Dennis Snower, 2009. "An Incentive Theory of Matching," Kiel Working Papers 1512, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2005. "Product Market Competition, Investment and Employment-Abundant versus Job-Poor Growth: A Real Options Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 1563, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis, 2006. "On-the-Job Learning and the Effects of Insider Power," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 317-341, June.
  5. Jo Seldeslachts, 2002. "Interactions Between Product and Labour Market Reforms," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 519.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  6. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 2004. "On-the-Job Training, Firing Costs and Employment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4241, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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