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The Brother-In-Law Effect

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  • David K. Levine
  • Federico Weinschelbaum
  • Felipe Zurita

Abstract

When a firm is forced to pay abnormally high wages, hiring transfers rents. This effectively endows the employer with the ability to grant favors, and he may wish to do so even at some cost to efficient production. We refer to this as the "brother-in-law effect". This article analyzes its consequences. When the brother-in-law effect is due to unionization, decisions regarding both the number and type of workers employed could be inefficient; overemployment could obtain even relative to the workforce that would be employed without unionization. We also identify cases in which nepotism improves efficiency. Copyright (2010) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

Suggested Citation

  • David K. Levine & Federico Weinschelbaum & Felipe Zurita, 2010. "The Brother-In-Law Effect," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(2), pages 497-507, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:51:y:2010:i:2:p:497-507
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    1. Jose E. Galdon Sanchez & James A. Schmitz, 2003. "Competitive pressure and labor productivity: world iron ore markets in the 1980s," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 9-23.
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    Cited by:

    1. Natalia Montinari & Antonio Nicolò & Regine Oexl, 2016. "The gift of being chosen," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(2), pages 460-479, June.
    2. Roberto Cortes Conde, 2008. "Spanish America Colonial Patterns: The Rio de La Plata," Working Papers 96, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Mar 2008.
    3. Natalia Montinari & Antonio Nicolo & Regine Oexl, 2012. "Mediocrity and induced reciprocity," Working Papers 2012-19, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    4. Zudenkova, Galina, 2011. "Cronyism in Business, Public Sector and Politics," Working Papers 2072/151814, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    5. Agnieszka Rusinowska & Vassili Vergopoulos, 2016. "Ingratiation and Favoritism in Organizations," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 16010, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    6. Bramoullé, Yann & Goyal, Sanjeev, 2016. "Favoritism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 16-27.
    7. RafaelDi Tella & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2008. "Choosing agents and monitoring consumption: a note on wealth as a corruption-controlling device," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1552-1571, October.
    8. Valeria Maggian & Natalia Montinari & Antonio Nicolò, 2015. "Backscratching in Hierarchical Organizations," Working Papers 299, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2015.
    9. Ponzo, Michela & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2011. "A simple model of favouritism in recruitment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 78-88, June.
    10. Galina Zudenkova, 2015. "Political cronyism," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(3), pages 473-492, March.
    11. Agnieszka Rusinowska & Vassili Vergopoulos, 2016. "Ingratiation and Favoritism in Organizations," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01278060, HAL.
    12. repec:hal:journl:halshs-01278060 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Duran Miguel A. & Morales Antonio J., 2014. "The Rise and Spread of Favoritism Practices," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 1-18, January.

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