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Oligopsony and the Distribution of Wages

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  • V. Bhaskar

    (University of Essex)

  • Ted To

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

A number of theories (search and efficiency wages) have been developed, in part, to explain why identically able workers are often paid different wages. However, when there is a minimum wage, they do not explain the resulting ``spike" in the wage distribution. Our model's predictions are consistent with this evidence. We assume that workers are equally able but have heterogeneous preferences for non-wage characteristics, while employers have heterogeneous productivity characteristics. This results in a model of labor market oligopsony where ``inside'' and ``outside'' forces interact, producing wage dispersion as well as a spike at the minimum wage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 9903003.

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Date of creation: 18 Mar 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:9903003

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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: wage differentials; wage dispersion; monopsony; oligopsony; labor theory; minimum wage;

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  1. Blackburn, McKinley & Neumark, David, 1992. "Unobserved Ability, Efficiency Wages, and Interindustry Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1421-36, November.
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  8. Alan B. Krueger & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Reflections on the Inter-Industry Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 1968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Dolado, Juan J. & Felgueroso, Florentino & Jimeno, Juan F., 1997. "The effects of minimum bargained wages on earnings: Evidence from Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 713-721, April.
  10. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Peter Sanfey, 1992. "Wages, Profits and Rent-Sharing," NBER Working Papers 4222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. William M. Boal & Michael R. Ransom, 1997. "Monopsony in the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 86-112, March.
  13. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  14. Abowd, John M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1993. "The Effects of Product Market Competition on Collective Bargaining Agreements: The Case of Foreign Competition in Canada," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 983-1014, November.
  15. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  16. V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 1996. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Labor and Demography 9603001, EconWPA, revised 21 May 1996.
  17. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," NBER Working Papers 2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Ramaswamy, Ramana & Rowthorn, Robert E, 1991. "Efficiency Wages and Wage Dispersion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(232), pages 501-14, November.
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  20. Groshen, Erica L, 1991. "Sources of Intra-industry Wage Dispersion: How Much Do Employers Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 869-84, August.
  21. Albrecht, James W & Vroman, Susan B, 1998. "Nash Equilibrium Efficiency Wage Distributions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 183-203, February.
  22. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz, 1989. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," NBER Working Papers 3182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 235-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Pugel, Thomas A, 1980. "Profitability, Concentration and the Interindustry Variation in Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 248-53, May.
  25. Jean Baldwin Grossman, 1983. "The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Other Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 359-378.
  26. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
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