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A Generalised Model of Monopsony

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  • Alan Manning

Abstract

Recent research in labour economics (e.g. the work of Card and Krueger, 1995, on the impact of minimum wages) has led to renewed interest in the appropriate model to use when thinking about the labour market. But, the standard textbook models of both perfect competition and monopsony are both implausible, though for different reasons. The competitive model because it assumes the wage elasticity of the supply of labour to the individual firm is infinite and the monopsony model because it assumes that an employer cannot do anything to raise employment other than raise the wage. This paper presents a more general but very simple model in which the employer can also raise employment by increasing expenditure on recruitment. Using this, it is shown how that division between perfect competition and monopsony is not the issue of whether the wage elasticity in labour supply is infinite or finite (as it is usually presented) but whether there are diseconomies of scale in recruitment. Using a unique British data set containing information on both labour turnover costs and the number of recruits, we present estimates that do suggest that there is an increasing marginal cost of recruitment.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Manning, 2001. "A Generalised Model of Monopsony," CEP Discussion Papers dp0499, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0499
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Douglas O. Staiger & Joanne Spetz & Ciaran S. Phibbs, 2010. "Is There Monopsony in the Labor Market? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 211-236, April.
    2. Salop, Steven C, 1979. "A Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 117-125, March.
    3. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2003. "Nominal wage rigidity and the rate of inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 762-781, October.
    4. Burgess, Simon & Turon, Helene, 2000. "Unemployment dynamics, duration and equilibrium: evidence from Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20162, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Stephen Nickell & Patricia Jones & Glenda Quintini, 2002. "A Picture of Job Insecurity Facing British Men," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 1-27, January.
    6. Stephen Nickell & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Technological Innovation and Performance in the United Kingdom," CEP Discussion Papers dp0488, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Samuel Muehlemann & Harald Pfeifer, 2016. "The Structure of Hiring Costs in Germany: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 193-218, April.
    2. Peter Cappelli, 2014. "Skill Gaps, Skill Shortages and Skill Mismatches: Evidence for the US," NBER Working Papers 20382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Fathi Fakhfakh & Virginie Pérotin & Andrew Robinson, 2011. "Workplace Change and Productivity: Does Employee Voice Make a Difference?," Chapters,in: The Role of Collective Bargaining in the Global Economy, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Marc Blatter & Samuel Muehlemann & Samuel Schenker & Stefan C. Wolter, 2016. "Hiring costs for skilled workers and the supply of firm-provided training," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 238-257.
    5. Samuel Mühlemann & Mirjam Strupler Leiser, 2015. "Ten Facts You Need To Know About Hiring," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0111, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Sep 2015.
    6. Gabriel Felbermayr & Giammario Impullitti & Julien Prat, 2014. "Firm Dynamics and Residual Inequality in Open Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 4666, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Samuel Muehlemann & Paul Ryan & Stefan C. Wolter, 2013. "Monopsony Power, Pay Structure, and Training," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, pages 1097-1114.
    8. Samuel Muehlemann & Harald Pfeifer & Felix Wenzelmann, 2013. "The Costs of Recruiting Apprentices: Evidence from German Firm-Level Data," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0095, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Nov 2015.
    9. Dube, Arindrajit & Freeman, Eric & Reich, Michael, 2010. "Employee Replacement Costs," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt7kc29981, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    10. Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy, 2009. "Oligopsonistic Cats and Dogs," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 35(3), pages 257-274, November.
    11. Fathi Fakhfakh & Virginie Pérotin & Andrew Robinson, 2011. "Workplace Change and Productivity: Does Employee Voice Make a Difference?," Chapters,in: The Role of Collective Bargaining in the Global Economy, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Manning, Alan, 2011. "Imperfect Competition in the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    13. Blatter, Marc & Muehlemann, Samuel & Schenker, Samuel, 2012. "The costs of hiring skilled workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 20-35.
    14. Friedrich L. Sell & Ernst K. Ruf, 2016. "Monopsony in the Labor Market, Minimum Wages and the Time Horizon: Some Unresolved Issues," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 44(1), pages 75-90, March.
    15. Samuel Muehlemann & Stefan Wolter, 2014. "Return on investment of apprenticeship systems for enterprises: Evidence from cost-benefit analyses," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-22, December.
    16. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Larch, Mario & Lechthaler, Wolfgang, 2012. "Endogenous labor market institutions in an open economy," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 30-45.
    17. Rosa Sanchis-Guarner, 2012. "Driving Up Wages: The Effects of Road Construction in Great Britain," SERC Discussion Papers 0120, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    18. George Karatzas, 2009. "On the origin and the literal meaning of monopsony: a note," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 56(4), pages 425-430, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour Turnover;

    JEL classification:

    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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