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Union-firm bargaining: Order of play and efficiency


  • Appelbaum, Elie


This paper shows that a modified alternating offers Rubinstein model can provide a Pareto superior outcome in the context of the right-to-manage union-firm bargaining. Two examples of bargaining protocols that yield a superior outcome are provided. In the first example, the parties engage in a game in which the order of play is determined as part of the bargaining. We show that the game has a unique subgame perfect equilibrium in which the firm always moves first in the wage bargaining game. The equilibrium wage is, therefore, unique. In the second example, we examine a two-part-tariff alternating offers bargaining protocol, where the parties bargain over the wage and transfer payments. We show that this bargaining protocol has a Pareto efficient, unique subgame perfect equilibrium. Thus, although the parties do not bargain over the level of employment, the outcome under this protocol is, nevertheless, socially optimal.

Suggested Citation

  • Appelbaum, Elie, 2011. "Union-firm bargaining: Order of play and efficiency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 235-245, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:71:y:2011:i:2:p:235-245

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    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. Frankel, David M., 1998. "Creative Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 43-53, April.
    4. Marie-Claire Villeval & Manfred Konigstein, 2005. "The Choice of the Agenda in Labor Negotiations: efficiency and behavioral considerations," Working Papers 0508, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    5. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475, March.
    6. Booth, Alison L, 1995. "Layoffs with Payoffs: A Bargaining Model of Union Wage and Severance Pay Determination," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(248), pages 551-564, November.
    7. Besancenot, Damien & Vranceanu, Radu, 1999. "A trade union model with endogenous militancy: interpreting the French case," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 355-373, September.
    8. Bean, Charles R, 1984. "Optimal Wage Bargains," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 51(202), pages 141-149, May.
    9. Rupayan Pal, 2005. "Choice of union-firm bargaining agenda and social welfare," Public Economics 0507014, EconWPA.
    10. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "Trade Unions, Wages and Unemployment: What Can Simple Models Tell Us?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 526-545, November.
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