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International Oligopoly and Asymmetric Labour Market Institutions

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  • James A. Brander
  • Barbara J. Spencer

Abstract

Asymmetries in labour relations can have important effects on imperfectively competitive rivalries between firms. Such asymmetries are particularly striking in cross-country comparisons and are therefore of greatest interest in international markets. Using a simple duopoly model, we focus on two asymmetries. First, one firm may face a noncooperative union and second, institutional factors may allow one firm to commit itself to particular labour input before its rival sets output, giving it a natural Stackelberg leadership role. We examine the trade policy incentives resulting from these labour asymmetries, focusing on profit shifting tariffs, quotas and subsidies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2038.

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Date of creation: Oct 1986
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Publication status: published as Brander, J. and Spencer, B. "Unionized Oligopoly and International Trade Policy," Journal of International Economics, Vol. 24, No. 314, 1988, pp. 217-238.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2038

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  1. Dixit, Avinash, 1984. "International Trade Policy for Oligopolistic Industries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376a), pages 1-16, Supplemen.
  2. Sampson, Anthony A, 1983. "Employment Policy in a Model with a Rational Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(37), pages 297-311, June.
  3. Gene M. Grossman, 1982. "International Competition and the Unionized Sector," NBER Working Papers 0899, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Feenstra, Robert C., 1980. "Monopsony distortions in an open economy: A theoretical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 213-235, May.
  5. Brecher, Richard A., 1974. "Optimal commercial policy for a minimum-wage economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 139-149, May.
  6. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
  7. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 83-100, February.
  8. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1982. "Strategic Commitment with R&D: The Symmetric Case," Working Papers 516, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Dertouzos, James N & Pencavel, John H, 1981. "Wage and Employment Determination under Trade Unionism: The International Typographical Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1162-81, December.
  10. Salop, Steven C & Scheffman, David T, 1983. "Raising Rivals' Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 267-71, May.
  11. B. Curtis Eaton & Richard G. Lipsey, 1980. "Exit Barriers are Entry Barriers: The Durability of Capital as a Barrier to Entry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 721-729, Autumn.
  12. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-50, July.
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