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Cooperation, Harassment, and Involuntary Unemployment: An Insider-Outsider Approach


  • Lindbeck, Assar
  • Snower, Dennis J


The authors present a theory of involuntary unemployment which explains why the unemployed workers ("outsiders" ) are unable or unwilling to find jobs even though they are prepared to work for less than the prevailing wages of incumbent workers ("in siders"). The outsiders do not underbid the insiders since, were the y to do so, the insiders would withdraw cooperation from them, making their work unpleasant with harassment, and thereby reducing the prod uctivity and increasing the reservation wages of the underbidders. Th e resulting labor-turnover costs create economic rent which the insid ers tap in wage setting and, as a result, involuntary unemployment ma y arise. Copyright 1988 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1988. "Cooperation, Harassment, and Involuntary Unemployment: An Insider-Outsider Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 167-188, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:78:y:1988:i:1:p:167-88

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Calvo, Guillermo A & Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Rodriguez, Carlos Alfredo, 1979. "The Incidence of a Tax on Pure Rent: A New (?) Reason for an Old Answer," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 869-874, August.
    2. Kareken, John & Wallace, Neil, 1977. "Portfolio autarky: A welfare analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 19-43, February.
    3. Buiter, Willem H, 1981. "Time Preference and International Lending and Borrowing in an Overlapping-Generations Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 769-797, August.
    4. Bhagwati, Jagdish N. & Brecher, Richard A., 1980. "National welfare in an open economy in the presence of foreign-owned factors of production," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 103-115, February.
    5. Srinivasan, T. N., 1983. "International factor movements, commodity trade and commercial policy in a specific factor model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 289-312, May.
    6. Brecher, Richard A. & Findlay, Ronald, 1983. "Tariffs, foreign capital and national welfare with sector-specific factors," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 277-288, May.
    7. John Dutton, 1982. "The Optimal Taxation of International Investment Income: A Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 373-380.
    8. Jonathan Eaton, 1987. "A Dynamic Specific-Factors Model of International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 325-338.
    9. Christophe Chamley & Wright, Brian D. Wright, 1983. "Fiscal Incidence in a Dynamic Life-Cycle Model with Land," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 666, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    10. Feldstein, Martin S, 1977. "The Surprising Incidence of a Tax on Pure Rent: A New Answer to an Old Question," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(2), pages 349-360, April.
    11. Bhagwati, Jagdish N. & Tironi, Ernesto, 1980. "Tariff change, foreign capital and immiserization : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 71-83, February.
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