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Ambiguity aversion and the absence of wage indexation

  • Mukerji, Sujoy
  • Tallon, Jean-Marc

This paper analyzes optimal wage contracting assuming agents are not subjective expected utility maximizers but are, instead, ambiguity (or uncertainty) averse decision makers who maximize Choquet expected utility. We show that such agents will choose not to include any indexation coverage in their wage contracts even when inflation is uncertain, unless the perceived inflation uncertainty is high enough. Significantly, the exercise does not presume any exogenous costs (e.g. transactions costs) of including indexation links.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 51 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 653-670

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:51:y:2004:i:3:p:653-670
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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  1. Holland, A Steven, 1995. "Inflation and Wage Indexation in the Postwar United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 172-76, February.
  2. Sujoy Mukerji & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2001. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Financial Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 883-904.
  3. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
  4. Mukerji, Sujoy, 1998. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Contractual Form," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1207-31, December.
  5. Sujoy Mukerji, 1996. "Understanding the nonadditive probability decision model (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 9(1), pages 23-46.
  6. Daniel Ellsberg, 2000. "Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7605, David K. Levine.
  7. David Card, 1984. "An Empirical Model of Wage Indexation Provisions in Union Contracts," NBER Working Papers 1388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
  9. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-87, May.
  10. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent & Thomas D. Tallarini Jr., 1997. "Robust Permanent Income and Pricing," Levine's Working Paper Archive 596, David K. Levine.
  11. Sujoy Mukerji & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2004. "Ambiguity aversion and the absence of indexed debt," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00499352, HAL.
  12. Jovanic, Boyan & Ueda, Masako, 1997. "Contracts and Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 700-708, August.
  13. Robert J. Shiller, 1997. "Public Resistance to Indexation: A Puzzle," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 159-228.
  14. Jean-Marc Tallon, 1998. "Asymmetric Information, Nonadditive Expected Utility, and the Information Revealed by Prices: An Example," Post-Print halshs-00502491, HAL.
  15. Farber, Henry S, 1978. "Individual Preferences and Union Wage Determination: The Case of the United Mine Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 923-42, October.
  16. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1989. "Maxmin Expected Utility with Non-Unique Prior," Post-Print hal-00753237, HAL.
  17. Dow, James & Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro da Costa, 1992. "Uncertainty Aversion, Risk Aversion, and the Optimal Choice of Portfolio," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 197-204, January.
  18. Gray, Jo Anna, 1978. "On Indexation and Contract Length," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 1-18, February.
  19. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Wage indexation and macroeconomics stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 107-147, January.
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