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Self-Enforcing Labour Contracts and the Dynamics Puzzle

  • Christian Calmès

To properly account for the dynamics of key macroeconomic variables, researchers incorporate various internal-propagation mechanisms in their models. In general, these mechanisms implicitly rely on the assumption of a perfect equality between the real wage and the marginal product of labour. The author proposes a theoretical validation of a micro-founded internal-propagation mechanism: he builds a model that features a limited-commitment economy, and derives endogenous self-enforcing labour contracts that produce a different linkage between the real wage and the marginal product of labour. The risk-sharing between the entrepreneur and the worker, both faced with enforcement problems, provides an admissible explanation of the prolonged comovements observed between consumption and labour. Since these co-movements are at the core of the persistence of the impulse response of output to exogenous technology shocks, this persistence can, in turn, be rationalized with the endogenous real rigidity emerging from the economy. The author shows that, in this framework, the persistence ultimately depends on the initial bargaining power and the magnitude of the risk-sharing.

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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Staff Working Papers with number 05-1.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:05-1
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  1. Gomme, Paul & Greenwood, Jeremy, 1995. "On the cyclical allocation of risk," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 91-124.
  2. Jordi Gali, 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lettau, M. & Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 1995. "Can Habit Formation be Reconciled with Business Cycle Facts?," Discussion Paper 1995-54, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Gauthier, Celine & Poitevin, Michel & Gonzalez, Patrick, 1997. "Ex Ante Payments in Self-Enforcing Risk-Sharing Contracts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 106-144, September.
  5. Kevin X. D. Huang & Zheng Liu, 1998. "Staggered contracts and business cycle persistence," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 127, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Timothy Cogley & James M. Nason, 1993. "Output dynamics in real business cycle models," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 93-10, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Thomas Cooley & Ramon Marimon & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2003. "Aggregate Consequences of Limited Contract Enforceability," NBER Working Papers 10132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Rotemberg, Julio J & Woodford, Michael, 1996. "Real-Business-Cycle Models and the Forecastable Movements in Output, Hours, and Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 71-89, March.
  14. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 24, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Michele Boldrin & Michael Horvath, 1994. "Labor Contracts and Business Cycles," Discussion Papers 1068, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. Oliver Hart & Bengt Holmstrom, 1986. "The Theory of Contracts," Working papers 418, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  17. James Ted McDonald & Christopher Worswick, 1999. "Wages, Implicit Contracts, and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Canadian Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 884-913, August.
  18. Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1988. "Self-Enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 541-554.
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  20. Paul J. Devereux & Joseph G. Altonji, 2000. "The extent and consequences of downward nominal wage rigidity," Open Access publications 10197/311, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  21. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1991. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 665-88, August.
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  30. repec:dgr:kubcen:199554 is not listed on IDEAS
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