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Lump-Sum Payments and Profit-Sharing Plans in the Union Sector of the United States Economy

  • Bell, Linda A
  • Neumark, David

Lump-sum payments and profit-sharing plans became increasingly prevalent in union contracts in the U.S. economy in the 1980s. This paper analyzes the relationship between lump-sums, profit sharing, labor costs and employment, in firm-level panel data for the union sector of the U.S. economy. In general, the firm-level data suggest that profit sharing has a statistically significant effect of lowering labor cost growth. Profit sharing also appears to increase employment growth and reduce employment variability, but these results are not statistically significant. This evidence is generally consistent with hypotheses regarding the introduction of performance-related pay (Weitzman, 1984 and 1985). The effects of lump-sums, on the other hand, are not consistent with hypotheses regarding performance-related pay. Lump-sums do not appear to lower labor cost growth or increase employment growth, and increase rather than decrease employment variability. Copyright 1993 by Royal Economic Society.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 103 (1993)
Issue (Month): 418 (May)
Pages: 602-19

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:103:y:1993:i:418:p:602-19
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