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Trade Union Objectives and Economic Growth

  • Andreas Irmen
  • Berthold U. Wigger

A trade union whose purpose is to raise wages above the competitive level may foster economic growth if it succeeds in shifting income away from the owners of capital to the workers and if the workers' marginal propensity to save exceeds the one of capitalists. We make this point in an overlapping generations framework with unionized labor. Considering a monopoly union which cares for wages and employment, we determine a range of trade union objectives and characterize the aggregate technology so that the union's policy spurs per capita income growth. However, the union's policy cannot lead to a Pareto-improvement.

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Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 59 (2002/2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 49-

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(2002/200302)59:1_49:tuoaeg_2.0.tx_2-u
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  1. Rosen, Sherwin, 1969. "Trade Union Power, Threat Effects and the Extent of Organization," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(106), pages 185-96, April.
  2. Wigger, Berthold U, 2001. "Pareto-Improving Intergenerational Transfers," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(2), pages 260-80, April.
  3. Cahuc, P. & Michel, P., 1992. "Minimum Wage, Unemployment and Growth," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 92.35, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  4. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli, 1990. "Finite Lifetimes and Growth," NBER Working Papers 3469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Giuseppe Bertola, 1991. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Uhlig, Harald & Yanagawa, Noriyuki, 1996. "Increasing the capital income tax may lead to faster growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1521-1540, November.
  7. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  8. John H. Pencavel, 1982. "The Trade-Off between Wages and Employment in Trade Union Objectives," NBER Working Papers 0870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1996. "Factor shares in OLG models of growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1541-1560, November.
  10. Berthold U. Wigger, 1999. "Public Pensions and Growth," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(2), pages 241-, June.
  11. Saint-Paul, G., 1991. "Fiscal Policy In An Endogenous Growth Model," DELTA Working Papers 91-04, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  12. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  13. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  14. Agell, Jonas & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1993. " Egalitarianism and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 559-79, December.
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