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An Empirical Test of an Asymmetric Information Model of Strikes

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  • Joseph S. Tracy

Abstract

Recent developments in the thoery of strategic bargaining demonstrate howinformational asymmetries can lead to prolonged and costly bargaining. These models can be applied to contract negotiations between unions and firms yielding an economic theory of strikes. To date, however, few empirical tests of these models have been carried out. This paper presents some evidence supporting this view of strikes. A set of predictions concerning the incidence and unconditional duration of strikes is derived from a simple bargaining model where the union is uncertain about the firm's future profitability. These predictions are then tested on a micro data set of major U.S. contract negotiations which took place from 1973 to 1977.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1870.

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Date of creation: Mar 1986
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Publication status: published as Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 5, No. 2, April 1987.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1870

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Cited by:
  1. James McDonald & Harry Bloch, 1999. "The Spillover Effects of Industrial Action on Firm Profitability," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 183-200, September.
  2. Cramton, Peter C & Tracy, Joseph S, 1994. "The Determinants of U.S. Labor Disputes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 180-209, April.
  3. Lemke, Robert J., 2004. "Dynamic bargaining with action-dependent valuations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 1847-1875, July.
  4. Malo, Miguel A. & Sanchez-sanchez, Nuria, 2011. "The legal form of labour conflicts and their time persistence: an empirical analysis with a large firms' panel," MPRA Paper 30117, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
  6. Azam, Jean-Paul & Salmon, Claire, 2003. "Strikes and Political Activism of Trade Unions: Theory and Application to Bangladesh," IDEI Working Papers 166, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  7. L. J. Perry, 2005. "A Long-Term Perspective On Industrial Disputes In Australia: 1913–2003," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 24(3), pages 263-279, 09.
  8. David Dickinson & Lynn Hunnicutt, 2005. "Nonbinding Suggestions: The Relative Effects of Focal Points versus Uncertainty Reduction on Bargaining Outcomes," Working Papers 05-13, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  9. Joseph S. Tracy, 1986. "Seniority Rules and the Gains from Union Organization," NBER Working Papers 2039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ohkusa, Yasushi & Ohtake, Fumio, 1997. "The Productivity Effects of Information Sharing, Profit Sharing, and ESOPs," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 385-402, September.
  11. Alberto Casagrande & Marco Spallone, 2007. "Investigating the determinants of pretrial settlement rates: contingent versus non-contingent lawyers’ fees," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 1-13, August.
  12. David Dickinson & Lynn Hunnicutt, 2010. "Nonbinding recommendations: the relative effects of focal points versus uncertainty reduction on bargaining outcomes," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(4), pages 615-634, October.
  13. Henry S. Farber & Max H. Bazerman, 1989. "Divergent Expectations as a Cause of Disagreement in Bargaining: Evidence from a Comparison of Arbitration Schemes."," NBER Working Papers 2139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Elie Appelbaum, 2004. "Union militancy and the probability of strikes," Working Papers 2004_4, York University, Department of Economics.
  15. Goerke, Laszlo & Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "On strike insurance," Discussion Papers 12, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  16. John M. Abowd & George T. Milkovich & John M. Hannon, 1990. "The effects of human resource management decisions on shareholder value," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 203-236, February.
  17. John M. Abowd & Joseph S. Tracy, 1988. "Market Structure, Strike Activity, and Union Wage Settlements," NBER Working Papers 2595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Butter, F.A.G. den & Wijngaert, R.F., 1990. "Who is correcting the error? : a co-integration approach for wages, wage space and labour conflicts in the Netherlands," Serie Research Memoranda 0019, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  19. Babcock, Linda & Loewenstein, George & Wang, Xianghong, 1995. "The relationship between uncertainty, the contract zone, and efficiency in a bargaining experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 475-485, August.

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