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Dual Labour Markets and Menu Costs: Explaining the Cyclicality of Productivity and Wage Differentials

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  • Huw David Dixon
  • Claus Thustrup Hansen
  • Henrik J. Kleven

Abstract

The conventional menu cost framework performs poorly with realistic labour supply elasticities; the menu costs required for price rigidity are very high and the welfare consequences of monetary disturbances are negligible. We show that the presence of dual labour markets greatly improves the performance of the framework both by reducing menu cost requirements and by boosting the welfare consequences. In addition, the introduction of dual labour markets provides an explanation of procyclical productivity and the shrinking of wage differentials during booms, in line with stylized facts on business cycles.

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Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 99-13.

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Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:99-13

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  1. Freeman, Richard Barry, 1984. "Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions," Scholarly Articles 4631951, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  3. d'ASPREMONT, C. & DOS SANTOS FERREIRA, R. & GÉRARD-VARET, L.-A., . "On the Dixit-Stiglitz model of monopolistic competition," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1211, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  6. Basu, S., 1993. "Intermediate Goods and Business Cycles: Implications for Productivity and Welfare," Papers 93-23, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  7. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 1990. "Real Rigidities and the Non-neutrality of Money," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 183-203, April.
  8. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
  9. Wunnava, Phanindra V. & Honney, John K., 1991. "The union-nonunion wage differential over the business cycle : Evidence from PSID," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 97-103, September.
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  12. Mankiw, N Gregory, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-38, May.
  13. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 1989. "Are Prices Too Sticky?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(3), pages 507-24, August.
  14. David Dixon, Huw & Thustrup Hansen, Claus, 1999. "A mixed industrial structure magnifies the importance of menu costs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1475-1499, August.
  15. Dickens, William T & Lang, Kevin, 1985. "A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 792-805, September.
  16. Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 2005. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U.S. Supermarket Chains," Macroeconomics 0505012, EconWPA.
  17. Mellow, Wesley S, 1981. "Unionism and Wages: A Longitudinal Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 43-52, February.
  18. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "A Near-rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Intertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 823-38, Supp..
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Cited by:
  1. Wapler, Rüdiger, 2000. "Unions, monopolistic competition and unemployment," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 180, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
  2. Sebastian Weber, 2006. "Labor Market Structures, Trade and their Effect on Unemployment: A Theoretical Analysis and Empirical Investigation," IHEID Working Papers 22-2006, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  3. Wapler, Rüdiger, 2001. "Unions, efficiency wages, and unemployment," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 210, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.

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