Low-wage labor markets amd the power of suggestion
AbstractLow-wage markets are traditionally viewed as competitive, and the possibility of strategic behavior by employers is dismissed. However, such behavior is not impossible. This paper investigates the possibility of tacit collusion by low-wage employers while setting wages. A game-theoretic explanation along the lines of the Folk theorm is offered, suggesting that a non-binding minimum wage may serve as a focal point of tacit collusion, proposing a symmetric solution to an infinitely played game of wage-setting. Several empirical techniques were employed in testing the hypothesis, including hurdle models of collusion. CPS monthly data is used for the years 1990-2005, covering the last four federal minimum wage increases. The likelihood of collusion at minimum wage is evaluated, as well as its dynamics during this period. The results generally support the collusion hypothesis and suggest that employers respond strategically to changes in minimum wage legislation while using the statutory minimum wage as a coordination tool in tacit collusion.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 1112.
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
minimum wage; low-wage markets; collusion; tacit collusion; focal points; monopsony papers;
Other versions of this item:
- Natalya Y. Shelkova, 2008. "Low-Wage Labor Markets and the Power of Suggestion," Working papers 2008-33, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2008.
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
- J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
- L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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