IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/reviec/v25y2017i3p534-566.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Dilemma of Labor Unions: Local Objectives vs Global Bargaining

Author

Listed:
  • Carsten Eckel
  • Hartmut Egger

Abstract

Multinational enterprises are able to improve their disagreement profits by setting up foreign production facilities, with adverse consequences for negotiated wages and union utilities. In this paper, we take a new angle at this issue and analyze whether unions can improve their situation by cooperating internationally. By shifting the focus from firms to unions as the active players, we aim at explaining why unions find it hard to respond to the detrimental shift in bargaining position as a result of globalization and why there is so little evidence for union cooperation within multinational production networks. Our results show that cooperation is clearly beneficial for unions if their preferences regarding wages and employment are similar across countries. If these preferences differ, however, potential production relocations by multinationals create winners and losers among unions, and these distributional effects may impede cooperation.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Carsten Eckel & Hartmut Egger, 2017. "The Dilemma of Labor Unions: Local Objectives vs Global Bargaining," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 534-566, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:3:p:534-566
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/roie.12273
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chiara Strozzi, 2007. "Product Market Integration and Union Collusion," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 17-36, February.
    2. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Globalization and the Perceptions of American Workers," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 109.
    3. Nicholas Lawson, 2011. "Is Collective Bargaining Pareto Efficient? A Survey of the Literature," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 282-304, September.
    4. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Odd Rune Straume, 2012. "Employment Protection Versus Flexicurity: On Technology Adoption in Unionised Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(1), pages 177-199, March.
    5. Jackman, Richard, 1985. " Counterinflationary Policy in a Unionised Economy with Nonsynchronised Wage Setting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 357-378.
    6. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1239-1283, July.
    7. Alogoskoufis, George & Manning, Alan, 1991. "Tests of alternative wage employment bargaining models with an application to the UK aggregate labour market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 23-37, January.
    8. Domenico Buccella, 2011. "International Production and Wage Coordination in an Integrated Economy (revised)," FIW Working Paper series 025, FIW.
    9. Davidson, Carl & Martin, Lawrence & Matusz, Steven, 1988. "The Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models with Frictional Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1267-1293, December.
    10. Mezzetti, Claudio & Dinopoulos, Elias, 1991. "Domestic unionization and import competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 79-100, August.
    11. John H. Pencavel, 1984. "The Tradeoff Between Wages and Employment in Trade Union Objectives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(2), pages 215-231.
    12. Davis, Donald R. & Harrigan, James, 2011. "Good jobs, bad jobs, and trade liberalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 26-36, May.
    13. Richard A. Brecher, 1974. "Minimum Wage Rates and the Pure Theory of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 98-116.
    14. Brouwer, Jelle & Paap, Richard & Viaene, Jean-Marie, 2008. "The trade and FDI effects of EMU enlargement," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 188-208, March.
    15. Bughin, Jacques & Vannini, Stefano, 1995. "Strategic direct investment under unionized oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 127-145, March.
    16. Udo Kreickemeier & Douglas Nelson, 2017. "Fair Wages, Unemployment, and Technological Change in a Global Economy," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 8, pages 205-235 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    17. Pencavel, John & Holmlund, Bertil, 1988. "The Determination of Wages, Employment, and Work Hours in an Economy with Centralised Wage-Setting: Sweden, 1950-83," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1105-1126, December.
    18. Naylor, Robin, 1998. "International trade and economic integration when labour markets are generally unionised," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1251-1267, July.
    19. Blonigen, Bruce A., 2001. "In search of substitution between foreign production and exports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 81-104, February.
    20. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Frode Meland & Lars S¯rgard, 2003. "Unionised Oligopoly, Trade Liberalisation and Location Choice," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 782-800, October.
    21. Eckel, Carsten & Egger, Hartmut, 2009. "Wage bargaining and multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 206-214, April.
    22. Michel Dumont & Glenn Rayp & Peter Willemé, 2006. "Does internationalization affect union bargaining power? An empirical study for five EU countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 77-102, January.
    23. Bengt Larsson, 2012. "Obstacles to transnational trade union cooperation in Europe—results from a European survey," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 152-170, March.
    24. Davidson, Carl & Martin, Lawrence & Matusz, Steven, 1999. "Trade and search generated unemployment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 271-299, August.
    25. Domenico Buccella, 2013. "Unions’ bargaining coordination in multinational enterprises," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 373-392, November.
    26. Naylor, Robin, 1999. "Union Wage Strategies and International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 102-125, January.
    27. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "Factor Market Search and the Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 325-355, April.
    28. Straume, Odd Rune, 2002. "Union collusion and intra-industry trade," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 631-652, May.
    29. Skaksen, Mette Yde & Sorensen, Jan Rose, 2001. "Should trade unions appreciate foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 379-390, December.
    30. Brown, James N & Ashenfelter, Orley, 1986. "Testing the Efficiency of Employment Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 40-87, June.
    31. Pehkonen, Jaakko, 1990. " Trade Union Objectives and the Cyclical Variability of Wages and Employment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(4), pages 573-586.
    32. repec:wsi:wschap:9789813224919_0006 is not listed on IDEAS
    33. Paulo Bastos & Udo Kreickemeier, 2017. "Unions, Competition, and International Trade in General Equilibrium," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 6, pages 143-172 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    34. Zhao, Laixun, 1998. "The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Wages and Employment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(2), pages 284-301, April.
    35. Richard Layard & Stephen Nickell, 1990. "Is Unemployment Lower if Unions Bargain over Employment?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 773-787.
    36. Matusz, Steven J, 1996. "International Trade, the Division of Labor, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 71-84, February.
    37. Barrell, Ray & Pain, Nigel, 1999. "Trade restraints and Japanese direct investment flows," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 29-45, January.
    38. Grubert, Harry & Mutti, John, 1991. "Taxes, Tariffs and Transfer Pricing in Multinational Corporate Decision Making," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 285-293, May.
    39. Deborah L. Swenson, 2004. "Foreign Investment and the Mediation of Trade Flows," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 609-629, September.
    40. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
    41. Lipsey, Robert E & Weiss, Merle Yahr, 1981. "Foreign Production and Exports in Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(4), pages 488-494, November.
    42. Zhao, Laixun, 1995. "Cross-hauling direct foreign investment and unionized oligopoly," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 1237-1253, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. E. Podrecca & G. Rossini, 2012. "Wages and international factors’ mobility," Working Papers wp826, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:3:p:534-566. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0965-7576 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.