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Wage Bargaining with Time-Varying Threats

  • Cramton, Peter C
  • Tracy, Joseph S

The authors study wage bargaining in which the union is uncertain about the firm's willingness to pay and threat payoffs vary over time. Strike payoffs change as replacement workers are hired, as strikers find temporary jobs, and as inventories or strike funds run out. The authors find that bargaining outcomes are substantially altered if threat payoffs vary. If dispute costs increase in the long run, then dispute durations are longer, settlement rates are lower, and wages decline more slowly during the short run (and may even increase). The settlement wage is largely determined from the long-run threat, rather than the short-run threat. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (1994)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 594-617

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:12:y:1994:i:4:p:594-617
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  1. Alan S. Blinder & Louis J. Maccini, 1991. "Taking Stock: A Critical Assessment of Recent Research on Inventories," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 73-96, Winter.
  2. Admati, Anat R & Perry, Motty, 1987. "Strategic Delay in Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 345-64, July.
  3. Gunderson, Morley & Kervin, John & Reid, Frank, 1986. "Logit Estimates of Strike Incidence from Canadian Contract Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 257-76, April.
  4. Cramton, Peter C, 1992. "Strategic Delay in Bargaining with Two-Sided Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 205-25, January.
  5. David Card, 1988. "Strikes and Wages: A Test of a Signalling Model," NBER Working Papers 2550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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