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Unions in a Frictional Labor Market

  • Leena Rudanko

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Boston University, and NBER)

  • Per Krusell

    ()

    (Stockholm University, CEPR, and NBER)

We analyze a labor market with search and matching frictions where wage setting is controlled by a monopoly union. We take a benevolent view of the union in assuming it to care equally about employed and unemployed workers and we assume, moreover, that it is fully rational, thus taking job creation into account when making its wage demands. Under these assumptions, if the union is also able to fully commit to future wages it generates an efficient level of long-run unemployment. However, in the short run, it uses its market power to collect surpluses from firms with existing matches by raising current wages above the efficient level. These elements give rise to a time inconsistency. Without commitment, and in a Markov-perfect equilibrium, not only is unemployment well above its efficient level, but the union wage also exhibits endogenous real stickiness which amplifies the responses of vacancy creation and unemployment to shocks. We consider extensions to partial unionization and collective bargaining between a labor union and an employers’ association.

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Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number WP2012-014.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2012-014
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  1. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 6275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Card, 1986. "Efficient Contracts with Costly Adjustment: Short-RUn Employment Determination for Airline Mechanics," NBER Working Papers 1931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Booth, Alison & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 1987. "The Employment Effects of a Shorter Working Week," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 54(214), pages 237-48, May.
  4. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2009. "Block Recursive Equilibria for Stochastic Models of Search on the Job," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-005, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Per Krusell & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Anthony A. Smith Jr., 2001. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 413, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, June.
  7. Per Krusell & Fernando M. Martin & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2006. "Time Consistent Debt," 2006 Meeting Papers 210, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Emin Dinlersoz & Jeremy Greenwood, 2012. "The Rise And Fall Of Unions In The U.S," Working Papers 12-12r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Jun 2013.
  9. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  10. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2003. "Consumption--Savings Decisions with Quasi--Geometric Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 365-375, January.
  11. Modesto, Leonor & Thomas, Jonathan P., 2001. "An analysis of labour adjustment costs in unionized economies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 475-501, September.
  12. Ebell, Monique & Haefke, Christian, 2006. "Product Market Regulation and Endogenous Union Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 2222, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Delacroix, Alain, 2006. "A multisectorial matching model of unions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 573-596, April.
  14. Baris Kaymak & Omer Acikgoz, 2011. "The Rising Skill Premium and Deunionization in the United States," 2011 Meeting Papers 1433, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. repec:cen:wpaper:12-12 is not listed on IDEAS
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