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Preferences for Collective Versus Individualised Wage Setting

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  • Tito Boeri
  • Michael C. Burda

Abstract

Standard models of equilibrium unemployment assume exogenous labour market institutions and flexible wage determination. This article models wage rigidity and the coverage of collective bargaining endogenously, when workers differ by observable skill and may adopt either individualised or collective wage bargaining. In the calibrated model, a substantial fraction of workers and firms as well as the median voter prefer collective bargaining to the decentralised regime. A fundamental distortion of the separation decision in the form of a firing tax is necessary for these preferences to emerge. Endogenous coverage of collective bargaining can significantly modify the model's comparative statics predictions. Copyright © The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Tito Boeri & Michael C. Burda, 2009. "Preferences for Collective Versus Individualised Wage Setting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1440-1463, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:540:p:1440-1463
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alejando Donado & Klaus Wälde, 2010. "How Bad is Globalization for Labour Standards in the North?," Working Papers 1011, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 19 Aug 2010.
    2. Alejandro Donado & Klaus Wa¨lde, 2012. "How trade unions increase welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 990-1009, September.
    3. Brändle, Tobias & Baumann, Florian, 2013. "Union Bargaining and Intra-Industry Productivity Differentials: Theory and Evidence from Germany," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79852, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Krusell, Per & Rudanko, Leena, 2016. "Unions in a frictional labor market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 35-50.
    5. Andrea Vindigni & Simone Scotti & Cristina Tealdi, 2015. "Uncertainty and the Politics of Employment Protection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 209-267.
    6. Stella Capuano & Andreas Hauptmann & Jans-Jörg Schmerer, 2014. "Trade and Unions: Can Exporters Benefit from Collective Bargaining?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5096, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Boeri, Tito, 2012. "Setting the minimum wage," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 281-290.
    8. Basak, Debasmita & Wang, Leonard F.S., 2016. "Endogenous choice of price or quantity contract and the implications of two-part-tariff in a vertical structure," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 53-56.
    9. Murtin, Fabrice & de Serres, Alain & Hijzen, Alexander, 2014. "Unemployment and the coverage extension of collective wage agreements," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 52-66.
    10. Eliav Danziger & Leif Danziger, 2015. "A Pareto-improving Minimum Wage," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(326), pages 236-252, April.
    11. Launov, Andrey & Wälde, Klaus, 2016. "The employment effect of reforming a public employment agency," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 140-164.
    12. Hirsch, Boris & Merkl, Christian & Müller, Steffen & Schnabel, Claus, 2014. "Centralized vs. decentralized wage formation: The role of firms' production technology," Kiel Working Papers 1927, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    13. Lilia Cavallari, 2010. "Fiscal and monetary interactions when wage-setters are large: is there a role for corporatist policies?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 291-309, July.
    14. Hamzeh Arabzadeh, 2016. "The political economy of twin deficits and wage setting centralization," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016017, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    15. Alejandro Donado & Klaus Wälde, 2008. "Trade Unions Go Global!," CESifo Working Paper Series 2368, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. John T. Addison, 2016. "Collective bargaining systems and macroeconomic and microeconomic flexibility: the quest for appropriate institutional forms in advanced economies," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-53, December.
    17. repec:ilo:ilowps:469448 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Jimeno, Juan F. & Thomas, Carlos, 2013. "Collective bargaining, firm heterogeneity and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 63-79.
    19. repec:eee:labeco:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:1-22 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Donado, Alejandro. & Wälde, Klaus., 2012. "Globalization, trade unions and labour standards in the North," ILO Working Papers 994694483402676, International Labour Organization.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making

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