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Changes in the Employment Contract? Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment

  • Chaness, Gary
  • Levine, David I.

Many authors have discussed an apparent shift to a new employment contract characterized by less commitment between employer and employee coupled with closer ties between wages within the enterprise and those in the external labor market. We study the issue of when people in the U.S. and Canada feel pay cuts are fair, comparing our results with those of Kahneman, Knetsch, and Thaler (1986). In contrast to much previous discussion, we find no evidence of increasing acceptance of pay cuts--a measure of whether external, not internal, labor markets are considered fair. These results suggest that new organizational forms might do well to preserve some of the features of the "old" employment contract.

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Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt4p535308.

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Date of creation: 19 Nov 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt4p535308
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  1. Rebecca M. Blank, 2001. "What Causes Public Assistance Caseloads to Grow?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 85-118.
  2. Piron, Robert & Fernandez, Luis, 1995. "Are fairness constraints on profit-seeking important?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 73-96, March.
  3. Gary Charness & David I. Levine, 1999. "When are layoffs acceptable? Evidence from a quasi-experiment," Economics Working Papers 369, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. David Card & Richard B. Freeman, 1993. "Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number card93-1, 07.
  5. Alvin E. Roth & V. Prasnikar & M. Okuno-Fujiwara & S. Zamir, 1998. "Bargaining and market behavior in Jerusalem, Liubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 344, David K. Levine.
  6. David Card, 1990. "The impact of the Mariel boatlift on the Miami labor market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
  7. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S251-78, October.
  8. Frey, Bruno S. & Pommerehne, Werner W., 1993. "On the fairness of pricing -- An empirical survey among the general population," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 295-307, April.
  9. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  10. Gorman, Raymond F & Kehr, James B, 1992. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 355-58, March.
  11. MacKenzie, Scott B. & Podsakoff, Philip M. & Fetter, Richard, 1991. "Organizational citizenship behavior and objective productivity as determinants of managerial evaluations of salespersons' performance," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 123-150, October.
  12. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  13. Lipset, S.M., 1990. "Labor and Socialism in Canada and United States," Papers 7, Woodsworth College-.
  14. David Card & Richard B. Freeman, 1993. "Introduction to "Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States"," NBER Chapters, in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 1-20 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Erica Groshen & David Levine, 1998. "The rise and decline(?) of U.S. internal labor markets," Research Paper 9819, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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