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The Role of Family Ties in the Labour Market. An Interpretation Based on Efficiency Wage Theory

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  • De Paola, Maria
  • Scoppa, Vincenzo

Abstract

By casual empiricism, it seems that many firms take explicit account of the family ties connecting workers, often hiring individuals belonging to the same family or passing jobs on from parents to their children. This paper makes an attempt to explain this behaviour by introducing the assumption of altruism within the family and supposing that agents maximise a family utility function rather than an individual one. This hypothesis has been almost ignored in the analysis of the relationship between employers and employees. The implications of this assumption in the efficiency wage models are explored: by employing members of the same family, firms can use a (credible) harsher threat¬ – involving all the family’s members in case of one member’s shirking - that allows them to pay a lower efficiency wage. On the other hand, workers who accept this agreement exchange a reduction in wage with an increase in their probability of being employed: this can be optimal in situation of high unemployment. Moreover, the link between parents and children allows the firm to follow a strategy that solves the problem of an individual’s finite time horizon through family’s reputation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8956.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8956

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Cited by:
  1. Ponzo, Michela & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2008. "The Use of Informal Networks in Italian Labor Markets: Efficiency or Favoritisms?," MPRA Paper 11764, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Ponzo, Michela & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2009. "The Use of Informal Networks in Italy: Efficiency or Favoritism?," MPRA Paper 17281, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2003. "Family ties and training provision in an insider-outsider framework," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 197-217, May.
  4. Francesco Barbera & Ken Moores, 2013. "Firm ownership and productivity: a study of family and non-family SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 953-976, May.
  5. Loukas Spanos & Lena Tsipouri & Manolis Xanthakis, 2005. "Corporate Governance Rating and Family Firms: The Greek Case," Finance 0503011, EconWPA.

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