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Lobbying by capital and labor over trade and labor market policies

  • Rama, Martin
  • Tabellim, Guido

This paper uses the common agency approach to analyze the joint determination of product and labor market distortions in a small open economy. Capital owners and union members lobby the government on both tariffs and minimum wages, while other factors of production are not organized. The paper shows that product and labor market distortions always move in the same direction, and that their level is not modified by social pacts between capital and labor. It also shows that labor market distortions are second best. Hence, conditionality by foreign organizations should target distortions in product markets but not in labor markets.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 42 (1998)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Pages: 1295-1316

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:42:y:1998:i:7:p:1295-1316
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  1. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-93.
  2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  3. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-42, July.
  4. Rama, Martin & Tabellini, Guido, 1995. "Endogenous distortions in product and labor markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1413, The World Bank.
  5. Michael Bruno & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1985. "Economics of Worldwide Stagflation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brun85-1, July.
  6. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
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