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Can Monopoly Unionism Explain Publicly Induced Retirement?

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  • Casey B. Mulligan

Abstract

It has long been suggested that trade unions take actions and favor public policies that reduce the quantity of labor so that union members might enjoy greater labor incomes. Can this explain the prevalence of generous public pension programs inducing retirement? I suggest not, by formalizing the monopoly unionism model and showing how labor's interest in reducing the quantity of labor cannot explain why the old are induced to retire rather than discouraging work among workers of all ages. Discouraging work of a subset of union workers introduces allocative inefficiencies without promoting the objectives of the monopoly union. And, unless the old have a disproportionate influence within the union, union interests cannot explain why public pension programs are so generous.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7680.

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Date of creation: Apr 2000
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7680

Note: AG EFG LS PE
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  1. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Gerontocracy, Retirement, and Social Security," NBER Working Papers 7117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995. "A positive theory of social security," Economics Working Papers 108, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Social Security and Medicare Policy From the Perspective of Generational Accounting," NBER Working Papers 3915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Social Security in Theory and Practice (I): Facts and Political Theories," NBER Working Papers 7118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lawrence H. Summers & Jonathan Gruber & Rodrigo Vergara, 1992. "Taxation and the Structure of Labor Markets: The Case of Corporatism," NBER Working Papers 4063, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rees, Albert, 1989. "The Economics of Trade Unions," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226707105, October.
  7. Kotlikoff, L.J. & Raffelhuschen, B., 1999. "Generational Accounting around the Globe," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 195, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  8. Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Microfoundations and macro implications of indivisible labor," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 126, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Robert P. Hagemann & Christoph John, 1997. "Fiscal Reform In Sweden: What Generational Accounting Tells Us," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(3), pages 1-12, 07.
  10. Kremer, Michael & Thomson, James, 1998. " Why Isn't Convergence Instantaneous? Young Workers, Old Workers, and Gradual Adjustment," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 5-28, March.
  11. MaCurdy, Thomas E & Pencavel, John H, 1986. "Testing between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S3-S39, June.
  12. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Social Security in Theory and Practice (II): Efficiency Theories, Narrative Theories, and Implications for Reform," NBER Working Papers 7119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jensen, Svend E Hougaard & Raffelhuschen, Bernd, 1997. "Generational and Gender-Specific Aspects of the Tax and Transfer System in Denmark," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 615-35.
  14. Diamond, P. A. & Mirrlees, J. A., 1978. "A model of social insurance with variable retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 295-336, December.
  15. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "Generational Accounting around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number auer99-1, July.
  16. Michele Boldrin & Sergi Jimenez-Martin & Franco Peracchi, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in Spain," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 305-353 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Casey B. Mulligan, 2000. "Induced Retirement, Social Security, and the Pyramid Mirage," NBER Working Papers 7679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joydeep Bhattacharya & Casey B. Mulligan & Robert R. Reed, 2004. "Labor Market Search and Optimal Retirement Policy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(4), pages 560-571, October.

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