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

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  • Chaness, Gary
  • Levine, David I.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Chaness, Gary & Levine, David I., 1999. "Changes in the Employment Contract? Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt4p535308, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt4p535308
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Lipset, S.M., 1990. "Labor and Socialism in Canada and United States," Papers 7, Woodsworth College-.
    3. Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991. "Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-1095, December.
    4. David Card, 1990. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Piron, Robert & Fernandez, Luis, 1995. "Are fairness constraints on profit-seeking important?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 73-96, March.
    9. Gary Charness & David I. Levine, 2000. "When are Layoffs Acceptable? Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(3), pages 381-400, April.
    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 355-358, March.
    11. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    12. Timothy J. Bartik, 2000. "Displacement and Wage Effects of Welfare Reform," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: David E. Card & Rebecca M. Blank (ed.), Finding Jobs: Work and Welfare Reform, pages 72-122 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    13. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 251-278, October.
    14. 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.
    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.
    16. 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 728-741, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gary Charness & David I. Levine, 2000. "When are Layoffs Acceptable? Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(3), pages 381-400, April.
    2. Danielson, Anders J. & Holm, Hakan J., 2007. "Do you trust your brethren?: Eliciting trust attitudes and trust behavior in a Tanzanian congregation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 255-271, February.
    3. Gerlach, Knut & Levine, David I. & Stephan, Gesine & Struck, Olaf, 2005. "The Acceptability of Layoffs and Pay Cuts: Comparing North America with Germany," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt1k21d0rg, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    4. Gary Charness, 2004. "Attribution and Reciprocity in an Experimental Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 665-688, July.
    5. Arnaldo Camuffo, 2002. "The Changing Nature of Internal Labor Markets," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 6(4), pages 281-294, December.
    6. Gerhards, Leonie & Heinz, Matthias, 2017. "In good times and bad – Reciprocal behavior at the workplace in times of economic crises," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 228-239.
    7. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-17-00049 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Christian Pfeifer, 2007. "The Perceived Fairness of Layoffs in Germany: Participation, Compensation, or Avoidance?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 25-36, August.
    9. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:37:i:2:p:127-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Michael Christensen & Thorbjørn Knudsen, 2006. "Evaluation of Uncertain International Markets The Advantage of Flexible Organization Structures," DRUID Working Papers 06-04, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    11. Gesine Stephan & Sven Uthmann, 2014. "Wann wird negative Reziprozität am Arbeitsplatz akzeptiert? Eine quasi-experimentelle Untersuchung," Working Paper Series in Economics 321, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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