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Can insider power affect employment?

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  • Díaz-Vázquez, Pilar
  • Snower, Dennis J.
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    Abstract

    Do firms reduce employment when their insiders (established, incumbent employees) claim higher wages? The conventional answer in the theoretical literature is that insider power has no influence on employment, provided that the newly hired employees (entrants) receive their reservation wages. The reason given is that an increase in insider wages gives rise to a countervailing fall in reservation wages, leaving the present value of wage costs unchanged. Our analysis contradicts this conventional answer. We show that, in the context of a stochastic model of the labor market, an increase in insider wages promotes firing in recessions, while leaving hiring in booms unchanged. Thereby insider power reduces average employment. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) in its series Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy with number 2992.

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    Date of creation: 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkie:2992

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    Related research

    Keywords: Employment; Wage determination; market power; insiders; hiring and firing costs;

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    References

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    1. Manzini, P. & Snower, D.J., 1996. "On the Foundations of Wage Bargaining," Discussion Papers 9616, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:fth:exetec:96/16 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gottfries, N. & Sjostrom, Y., 1998. "Insider Bargaining Power, Starting Wages, and Involuntary Unemployment," Papers 1998-10, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    4. Vetter, Henrik & Andersen, Torben M, 1994. "Do Turnover Costs Protect Insiders?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(422), pages 124-30, January.
    5. Frank, Jeff, 1985. "Trade Union Efficiency and Overemployment with Seniority Wage Scales," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380), pages 1021-34, December.
    6. Assar Lindbeck & Dennis J. Snower, 2001. "Insiders versus Outsiders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 165-188, Winter.
    7. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
    8. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
    9. Frank, Jeff & Malcomson, James M., 1994. "Trade unions and seniority employment rules," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1595-1611, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Chen, Yu-Fu & Funke, Michael, 2009. "China's new Labour Contract Law: No harm to employment?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 558-572, September.
    2. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "On-the-Job Training and the Effects of Insider Power," IZA Discussion Papers 586, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 2003. "On-the-Job Training, Firing Costs and Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 910, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2005. "Product Market Competition, Investment and Employment-Abundant versus Job-Poor Growth: A Real Options Perspective," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20510, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
    5. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2006. "Threshold Effects of Dismissal Protection Regulations and Employment Dynamics," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 195, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    6. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis, 2006. "On-the-Job Learning and the Effects of Insider Power," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 317-341, June.
    7. Alessio J. G. Brown & Christian Merkl & Dennis Snower, 2009. "An Incentive Theory of Matching," Kiel Working Papers 1512, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    8. Chen, Yu-Fu & Funke, Michael, 2008. "Threshold Effects of Dismissal Protection Regulation and the Emergence of Temporary Work Agencies," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-05, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).

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