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Efficiency wages revisited: The internal reference perspective

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  • Danthine, Jean-Pierre
  • Kurmann, Andre

Abstract

The missing wage rigidity in general equilibrium models of efficiency wages is an artifact of the external wage reference perspective conventionally adopted by the literature. Efficiency wage models based on an internal wage reference perspective are capable of generating strong wage rigidity. We propose a structural model of efficiency wages that is broadly consistent with the reported evidence on fairness in labour relations and rent-sharing. Our model provides a robust explanation for wage rigidity and procyclical effort. It also rationalizes reciprocal behaviour by workers and the observation that firm productivity is a significant predictor of wage setting.
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Suggested Citation

  • Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Kurmann, Andre, 2006. "Efficiency wages revisited: The internal reference perspective," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 278-284, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:90:y:2006:i:2:p:278-284
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jean-Pierre Danthine & Andre Kurmann, 2004. "Fair Wages in a New Keynesian Model of the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 107-142, January.
    2. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    3. Yellen, Janet L, 1984. "Efficiency Wage Models of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 200-205, May.
    4. Fabrice Collard & David de la Croix, 2000. "Gift Exchange and the Business Cycle: The Fair Wage Strikes Back," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 166-193, January.
    5. Salop, Steven C, 1979. "A Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 117-125, March.
    6. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    7. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bastos, Paulo & Monteiro, Natália P. & Straume, Odd Rune, 2009. "Firm heterogeneity and wages in unionised labour markets: Theory and evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 440-450, August.
    2. repec:bla:manchs:v:85:y:2017:i:3:p:295-319 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jean-Michel Grandmont, 2016. "Endogenous Procyclicality of Labor Productivity, Employment, Real Wages and Effort in Conditionally Heteroskedastic Sunspots Unemployment Business Cycles with Negishi-Solow Efficiency Wages," Working Papers 2016:10, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    4. Matthias Strifler & Thomas Beissinger, 2016. "Fairness Considerations in Labor Union Wage Setting – A Theoretical Analysis," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 63(3), pages 303-330, July.
    5. Bhattacharyya, Chandril & Gupta, Manash Ranjan, 2015. "Union, efficiency of labour and endogenous growth," MPRA Paper 64911, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Mondal, Debasis & Gupta, Manash Ranjan, 2008. "Intellectual property rights protection and unemployment in a North South model: A theoretical analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 463-484, May.
    7. repec:wsi:wschap:9789813224919_0010 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2017. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labor Market Effects of Trade Liberalization," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 10, pages 265-306 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    9. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "Are real wages rigid downwards?," Working Paper 2007/01, Norges Bank.
    10. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb, 2009. "A note on internal and external reference in efficiency wage models," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 96(1), pages 79-86, January.
    11. Bhattacharyya, Chandril & Gupta, Manash Ranjan, 2014. "Unionised labour market, efficiency wage and endogenous growth," MPRA Paper 58332, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "How strong is the case for downward real wage rigidity?," Working Papers 07-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    13. Sessions, John G. & Skåtun, John D., 2015. "Shirking, Standards and the Probability of Detection," IZA Discussion Papers 8863, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General

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