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Wage Bargaining, Inventories, and Union Legislation

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  • Melvyn G. Coles
  • Andrew K. G. Hildreth

Abstract

This paper analyses a strategic bargaining game where the firm may or may not be able to sell out of its inventory of finished goods during a strike. Firms and the union are both risk neutral and have the same discount rate. It is shown that the wage equilibrium corresponds to the axiomatic Nash bargaining solution where the threatpoints are the agents' payoffs should bargaining continue indefinitely. We use the 1980 and 1982 Employment Acts to test this theory, interpreting that legislation change as changing the firm's threatpoint but not its bargaining power. This allows us to identify the value of the firm's threatpoint post-1982. Formal tests support the theory. Also consistent with the theory, it is found that union wages decrease with inventories after 1982, but not before, and that the union wage gap is smaller after 1982.

Suggested Citation

  • Melvyn G. Coles & Andrew K. G. Hildreth, 2000. "Wage Bargaining, Inventories, and Union Legislation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 273-293.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:67:y:2000:i:2:p:273-293.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/1467-937X.00131
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    Cited by:

    1. Fella Giulio, 2012. "Matching, Wage Rigidities and Efficient Severance Pay," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-35, December.
    2. Melvyn Coles & Adrian Masters, 2006. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in a Matching Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 109-138, January.
    3. Pierre-André Chiappori & Olivier Donni, 2005. "Learning From a Piece of Pie: The Empirical Content of Nash Bargaining," THEMA Working Papers 2006-07, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    4. Halko, Marja-Liisa, 2003. "Buffer funding of unemployment insurance in a dynamic labour union model," Research Discussion Papers 24/2003, Bank of Finland.
    5. Coles, Melvyn G. & Muthoo, Abhinay, 2003. "Bargaining in a non-stationary environment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 70-89, March.
    6. Emanuele Bacchiega, 2007. "Wage bargaining and vertical differentiation," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 54(1), pages 35-52, March.
    7. Coles, M & Muthoo, A, 2000. "Bargaining equilibrium in a non-stationary environment," Economics Discussion Papers 4889, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    8. Paulo Bastos & Udo Kreickemeier & Peter W. Wright, 2010. "Open‐shop unions and product market competition," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 43(2), pages 640-662, May.
    9. Leach, John, 1997. "Inventories and Wage Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 433-463, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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