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Unemployment Insurance and Labor Contracts under Asymmetric Information: Theory and Facts


  • Oswald, Andrew J


The paper provides evidence to show that many U.S. labor contracts havelittle or no private unemployment insurance provision. A model of an optional contract under asymmetric information, with no private unemployment insurance, is presented. Underemployment and involuntaryunemployment may coexist. Copyright 1986 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Oswald, Andrew J, 1986. "Unemployment Insurance and Labor Contracts under Asymmetric Information: Theory and Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 365-377, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:76:y:1986:i:3:p:365-77

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Clarke, Darral G & Dolan, Robert J, 1984. "A Simulation Analysis of Alternative Pricing Strategies for Dynamic Environments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(1), pages 179-200, January.
    2. Sanford J. Grossman & Richard E. Kihlstrom & Leonard J. Mirman, 1977. "A Bayesian Approach to the Production of Information and Learning By Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 533-547.
    3. Robert B. Wilson, 1967. "Competitive Bidding with Asymmetric Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(11), pages 816-820, July.
    4. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
    5. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    6. Roger B. Myerson, 1981. "Optimal Auction Design," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 6(1), pages 58-73, February.
    7. Nancy L. Stokey, 1981. "Rational Expectations and Durable Goods Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 112-128, Spring.
    8. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
    9. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "A Theory of Monopoly Pricing Schemes with Demand Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 347-365, June.
    10. A. M. Spence, 1981. "The Learning Curve and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 49-70, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julian Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2013. "Why firms avoid cutting wages: Survey evidence from European firms," Working Paper Research 251, National Bank of Belgium.
    2. Hanes, Christopher, 2010. "The rise and fall of the sliding scale, or why wages are no longer indexed to product prices," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 49-67, January.
    3. Gottfries, Nils & Sjostrom, Tomas, 2000. " Insider Bargaining Power, Starting Wages and Involuntary Unemployment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(4), pages 669-688, December.
    4. Pisauro, Giuseppe, 2002. "The beneficial effects of generous unemployment benefits on profits and employment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 739-760, November.
    5. Jan Babecký & Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2010. "Downward Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity: Survey Evidence from European Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 884-910, December.
    6. Herzer, Dierk, 2014. "Unions and income inequality: a heterogenous cointegration and causality analysis," Working Paper 146/2014, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
    7. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Peter Sanfey, 1996. "Wages, Profits, and Rent-Sharing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 227-251.
    8. Robin Boadway & Nicolas Marceau, 1994. "Time inconsistency as a rationale for public unemployment insurance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 1(2), pages 107-126, October.
    9. Jonathan P. Thomas, 1999. "Fair Pay and a Wagebill Arguement for Wage Rigidity and Excessive Employment Variability," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 199919, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
    10. Oswald Andrew J., 1996. "A Conjecture on the Explanation for High Unemployment in the Industrialized Nations : Part I," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 475, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    11. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2002. "Informal Family Insurance And The Design Of The Welfare State," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 481-503, July.
    12. Marco de Pinto & Jörg Lingens, 2014. "Unionization, Information Asymmetry and the De-location of Firms," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201412, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    13. Olivier Davanne & Thierry Pujol, 1996. "Assurance et échanges de risque sur le marché du travail," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 291(1), pages 151-169.
    14. Robert MacCulloch, 2001. "Does Social Insurance Help Secure Property Rights?," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 31, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    15. Millard, Stephen & Tatomir, Srdan, 2015. "Firms’ adjustment during 2010–13: evidence from the Wage Dynamics Survey," Bank of England working papers 568, Bank of England.
    16. Charles T. Carlstrom, 1987. "Implicit contracts, on-the-job search and involuntary unemployment," Working Paper 8712, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    17. Adriana Cassoni, 1997. "A brief survey on the role of trade unions in labour market," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0697, Department of Economics - dECON.
    18. Glismann, Hans H. & Schrader, Klaus, 2001. "Alternative Systeme der Arbeitslosenversicherung: das Beispiel der Vereinigten Staaten und des Vereinigten Königreichs," Kiel Working Papers 1032, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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