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Labor Contracts, Equal Treatment and Wage-Unemployment Dynamics

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  • Jonathan P. Thomas

    (University of Edinburgh)

  • Andy Snell

    (University of Edinburgh)

Abstract

This paper analyses a model in which firms cannot pay discriminate based on year of entry to a firm, and develops an equilibrium model of wage dynamics and unemployment. The model is developed under the assumption of worker mobility, so that workers can costlessly quit jobs at any time. Firms on the other hand are committed to contracts. Thus the model is related to Beaudry and DiNardo (1991). We solve for the dynamics of wages and unemployment, and show that real wages do not necessarily clear the labor market. Using sectoral productivity data from the post-war US economy, we assess the ability of the model to match unemployment series. We also show that equal treatment follows in our model from the assumption of at-will employment contracting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2009 Meeting Papers with number 179.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:179

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References

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  1. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
  2. Gottfries, Nils & Sjöström, Tomas, 1998. "Insider Bargaining Power, Starting Wages, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Paper Series 1998:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. James Ted McDonald & Christopher Worswick, 1999. "Wages, Implicit Contracts, and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Canadian Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 884-913, August.
  4. Elsby, Michael W.L., 2009. "Evaluating the economic significance of downward nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 154-169, March.
  5. Jonas Agell & Per Lundborg, . "Survey evidence on wage rigidity and unemployment: Sweden in the 1990s," EPRU Working Paper Series 99-15, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  6. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
  7. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Job Loss, Job Finding, and Unemployment in the U.S. Economy Over the Past Fifty Years," NBER Working Papers 11678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lorne Carmichael, 1983. "Firm-Specific Human Capital and Promotion Ladders," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 251-258, Spring.
  9. Gottfries, Nils, 1992. "Insiders, Outsiders, and Nominal Wage Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 252-70, April.
  10. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1991. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 665-88, August.
  11. Truman Bewley, 1999. "Work motivation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 35-49.
  12. Louis N. Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Wage rigidity in Canadian collective bargaining agreements," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 429-448, April.
  13. Devereux, Paul J. & Hart, Robert A., 2005. "The Spot Market Matters: Evidence on Implicit Contracts from Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 1497, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1983. "Equilibrium Long-Term Labor Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 23-54, Supplemen.
  15. Shin, Donggyun & Shin, Kwanho, 2008. "Why Are The Wages Of Job Stayers Procyclical?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 1-21, February.
  16. Truman F. Bewley, 1999. "Work Motivation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1209, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  17. Carruth, Alan A & Oswald, Andrew J, 1987. "On Union Preferences and Labour Market Models: Insiders and Outsi ders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(386), pages 431-45, June.
  18. Jonathan P. Thomas, 2005. "Fair pay and a Wage-Bill Argument for low Real Wage Cyclicality and Excessive Employment Variability," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 833-859, October.
  19. John Moore, 2007. "Stable Sets And Steady Wages," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(5), pages 721-730, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Jonathan Thomas & Andy Snell, . " Real and Nominal Wage Rigidity in a Model of Equal-Treatment Contracting," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0708, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  2. Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2007. "Limited Commitment Models of the Labour Market," CESifo Working Paper Series 2109, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Martins, Pedro S. & Snell, Andy & Thomas, Jonathan P., 2009. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidity in a Model of Equal-Treatment Contracting," IZA Discussion Papers 4346, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Pedro S. Martins & Gary Solon & Jonathan Thomas, 2010. "Measuring What Employers Really Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 15767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Menzio, Guido & Moen, Espen R, 2008. "Worker Replacement," CEPR Discussion Papers 7075, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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