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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. Berthold U. Wigger, 1999. "Public Pensions and Growth," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(2), pages 241-, June.
  2. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1996. "Factor shares in OLG models of growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1541-1560, November.
  3. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli, 1990. "Finite Lifetimes and Growth," NBER Working Papers 3469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "Fiscal Policy in an Endogenous Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1243-59, November.
  5. Giuseppe Bertola, 1991. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Pencavel, John H, 1984. "The Tradeoff between Wages and Employment in Trade Union Objectives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(2), pages 215-31, May.
  7. Cahuc, P. & Michel, P., 1992. "Minimum Wage, Unemployment and Growth," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 92.35, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Berthold U. Wigger, 2000. "Pareto-Improving Intergenerational Transfers," CESifo Working Paper Series 285, CESifo Group Munich.
  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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