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Insider Bargaining Power, Starting Wages and Involuntary Unemployment

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  • Gottfries, Nils
  • Sjostrom, Tomas

Abstract

Recent studies of wage bargaining and unemployment have emphasized the distinction between insiders and outsiders, and that unions act in the interest of insiders. Yet it is typically assumed that insiders and recently hired outsiders are paid the same wage. We consider a model where the starting wage may differ from the insider wage, but incentive constraints associated with turnover affect the form of the contract. We examine under what conditions the starting wage is linked to the insider wage so that increased bargaining power of insiders raises the starting wage and reduces the hiring of outsiders. Copyright 2000 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:102:y:2000:i:4:p:669-88
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gottfries, Nils & Horn, Henrik, 1987. "Wage Formation and the Persistence of Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 877-884, December.
    2. Oswald, A. J., 1995. "Efficient contracts are on the labour demand curve: Theory and facts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 102-102, March.
    3. Gottfries, Nils & Westermark, Andreas, 1998. "Nominal wage contracts and the persistent effects of monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 207-223, February.
    4. 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.
    5. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-480, March.
    6. Peter Kuhn & Jacques Robert, 1989. "Seniority and Distribution in a Two-Worker Trade Union," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 485-505.
    7. Frank, Jeff & Malcomson, James M., 1994. "Trade unions and seniority employment rules," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1595-1611, October.
    8. Mincer, Jacob & Higuchi, Yoshio, 1988. "Wage structures and labor turnover in the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 97-133, June.
    9. MacLeod, W. Bentley & Malcomson, James M., 1993. "Wage premiums and profit maximization in efficiency wage models," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1223-1249, August.
    10. John Moore, 1985. "Optimal Labour Contracts when Workers have a Variety of Privately Observed Reservation Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 37-67.
    11. Gollier, Christian, 1991. "Wage Differentials, the Insider-Outsider Dilemma, and Entry-Deterrence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(3), pages 391-408, July.
    12. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1987. "Union activity, unemployment persistence and wage-employment ratchets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 157-167.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Andy Snell & Jonathan P. Thomas, 2010. "Labor Contracts, Equal Treatment, and Wage-Unemployment Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 98-127, July.
    3. Carlsson, Mikael & Eriksson, Stefan & Gottfries, Nils, 2006. "Testing Theories of Job Creation: Does Supply Create Its Own Demand?," Working Paper Series 194, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    4. Stennek, Johan, 2012. "Why Unions Reduce Wage Inequality, I - A Theory of Domino Effects," Working Papers in Economics 539, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2015.
    5. Andy Snell & Jonathan P. Thomas & Zhewei Wang, 2015. "A Competitive Model Of Worker Replacement And Wage Rigidity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 419-430, January.
    6. 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.
    7. Jonathan Thomas & Andy Snell, 2007. " Real and Nominal Wage Rigidity in a Model of Equal-Treatment Contracting," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0708, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    8. Pilar Díaz-Vázquez & Dennis J. Snower, 2003. "Can Insider Power Affect Employment?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 139-150, May.
    9. Eriksson, Stefan, 2002. "Imperfect information, wage formation, and the employability of the unemployed," Working Paper Series 2002:17, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    10. 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).
    11. Díaz-Vázquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 2003. "Can insider power affect employment?," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 2992, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    12. Eriksson, Stefan & Gottfries, Nils, 2005. "Ranking of job applicants, on-the-job search, and persistent unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 407-428, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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