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A Theory of Holdouts in Wage Bargaining

Author

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  • Gu, Wulong
  • Kuhn, Peter

Abstract

Holdouts (the continuation of negotiations beyond the contract expiry date) are the most common form of disputes in labor contract negotiations. The authors model holdouts as a delaying tactic employed by unions to obtain information about other bargaining outcomes in their industry. Novel implications of their model include a positive association between holdout duration and the number of bargaining pairs negotiating contracts simultaneously; bunching of holdout durations within these 'negotiating groups'; and fewer strikes among holdouts which end later in groups. Using a large panel of contract negotiations in Canadian manufacturing, the authors find considerable support for these predictions. Copyright 1998 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Gu, Wulong & Kuhn, Peter, 1998. "A Theory of Holdouts in Wage Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 428-449, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:88:y:1998:i:3:p:428-49
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2009. "Bargaining and Conflict with Incomplete Information," ESE Discussion Papers 191, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    2. Louis N. Christofides & Amy Peng, 2007. "Real Wage Chronologies," Working Papers 0707, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    3. Sanvi Avouyi-Dovi & Denis Fougère & Erwan Gautier, 2013. "Wage Rigidity, Collective Bargaining, and the Minimum Wage: Evidence from French Agreement Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1337-1351, October.
    4. Peter Cramton & Joseph Tracy, 2003. "Unions, Bargaining and Strikes," Papers of Peter Cramton 02ubs, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 05 Sep 2002.
    5. Sergi Jiménez-Martín & Jaume Garcia, 2010. "Initial offers and outcomes in wage bargaining: who wins?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 815-846, December.
    6. Cadigan, John & Schmitt, Pamela & Shupp, Robert & Swope, Kurtis, 2011. "The holdout problem and urban sprawl: Experimental evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 72-81, January.
    7. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    8. Leif Danziger & Shoshana Neuman, 2005. "Delays in Renewal of Labor Contracts: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 341-372, April.
    9. John Cadigan & Pamela Schmitt & Robert Shupp & Kurtis Swope1, 2009. "An Experimental Study of the Holdout Problem in a Multilateral Bargaining Game," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 344-457, October.
    10. Robert Rich & Joseph Tracy, 2013. "Early Contract Renegotiation: An Analysis of US Labor Contracts, 1970-1995," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(4), pages 825-842.
    11. Houba, Harold & Bolt, Wilko, 2000. "Holdouts, backdating and wage negotiations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1783-1800, October.
    12. William H. Greene & Ana P. Martins, 2002. "Striking Features of the Labor Market," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2002/08, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    13. Danziger, Leif, 2008. "Extension of labor contracts and optimal backpay," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 18-36, February.
    14. William H. Greene & Ana P. Martins, 2013. "Striking Features of the Labor Market: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 56(2), pages 25-53.
    15. Louis Christofides & Chen Peng, 2006. "Major Provisions of Labour Contracts and their Theoretical Coherence," CESifo Working Paper Series 1700, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Swope, Kurtis J. & Cadigan, John & Schmitt, Pamela, 2014. "That's my final offer! Bargaining behavior with costly delay and credible commitment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 44-53.
    17. Robert W. Rich & Joseph Tracy, 2011. "Early contract renegotiation: An analysis of U.S. labor contracts from 1970 to 1995," Staff Reports 521, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    18. William H. Greene & Ana P. Martins, 2013. "Striking Features of the Labor Market: Theory," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 56(2), pages 1-24.
    19. Diaz-Moreno, Carlos & Galdon-Sanchez, Jose E., 2000. "Collective bargaining under complete information," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19337, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    20. Amy Peng & Louis N. Christofides, 2009. "Real Wage Chronology," Working Papers 011, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
    21. Kuhn, Peter & Gu, Wulong, 1999. "Learning in Sequential Wage Negotiations: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 109-140, January.
    22. Drinkwater, Stephen & Latreille, Paul L. & Knight, Ben, 2008. "When It's (Mostly) the Taking Part that Counts: The Post-Application Consequences of Employment Tribunal Claims," IZA Discussion Papers 3629, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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