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Unions in a Frictional Labor Market

Author

Listed:
  • Leena Rudanko

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

  • Per Krusell

    () (Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES)
    University of Göteborg
    CEPR
    NBER)

Abstract

We analyze a labor market with search and matching frictions where wage setting is controlled by a monopoly union. Frictions render existing matches a form of firm-specific capital which is subject to a hold-up problem in a unionized labor market. We study how this hold-up problem manifests itself in a dynamic infinite horizon model, with fully rational agents. We find that wage solidarity, seemingly an important norm governing union operations, leaves the unionized labor market vulnerable to potentially substantial distortions due to hold-up. Introducing a tenure premium in wages may allow the union to avoid the problem entirely, however, potentially allowing efficient hiring. Under an egalitarian wage policy, the degree of commitment to future wages is important for outcomes: with full commitment to future wages, the union achieves efficient hiring in the long run, but hikes up wages in the short run to appropriate rents from firms. Without commitment, and in a Markov-perfect equilibrium, hiring is well below its efficient level both in the short and the long run. We demonstrate the quantitative impact of the union in an extended model with partial union coverage and multi-period union contracting.

Suggested Citation

  • Leena Rudanko & Per Krusell, 2015. "Unions in a Frictional Labor Market," Discussion Papers 1531, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfm:wpaper:1531
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Unions in a Frictional Labor Market
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2015-11-18 20:55:34

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    Cited by:

    1. Brenzel, Hanna & Gartner, Hermann & Schnabel, Claus, 2014. "Wage bargaining or wage posting? Evidence from the employers' side," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 41-48.
    2. 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.
    3. Emin Dinlersoz & Jeremy Greenwood & Henry Hyatt, 2017. "What Businesses Attract Unions? Unionization over the Life Cycle of U.S. Establishments," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(3), pages 733-766, May.
    4. Emin Dinlersoz & Jeremy Greenwood & Henry Hyatt, 2014. "Who do Unions Target? Unionization over the Life-Cycle of U.S. Businesses," NBER Working Papers 20151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Camilo Alberto Cárdenas Hurtado & María Alejandra Hernández Montes & Jhon Edwar Torres Gorron, 2015. "A Statistical Analysis of Heterogeneity on Labour Markets and Unemployment Rates in Colombia," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, August.
    6. Finn Martensen, 2014. "Opposite Effects of Competition and Rents on Collective Bargaining – Evidence from Germany," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2014-15, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    7. repec:eee:pubeco:v:153:y:2017:i:c:p:56-68 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. García Martínez, José Ramón & Sorolla i Amat, Valeri, 2017. "When is there more employment, with individual or collective wage bargaining?," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-87, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    9. Bridgman, Benjamin, 2015. "Competition, work rules and productivity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 136-149.
    10. Cai, Xiaoming & Gautier, Pieter A. & Teulings, Coen N. & Watanabe, Makoto, 2014. "Collective versus decentralized wage bargaining and the efficient allocation of resources," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 34-42.
    11. Cardullo, Gabriele & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2015. "Sunk capital, unions and the hold-up problem: Theory and evidence from cross-country sectoral data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 253-274.
    12. José Ramón García & Valeri Sorolla, 2016. "The Calmfors-Driffill Hypothesis with Labour Market Frictions and Regulated Goods Markets," Working Papers 889, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    13. repec:eee:labeco:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:1-22 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Camilo Alberto Cárdenas Hurtado & María Alejandra Hernández Montes & Jhon Edwar Torres Gorron, 2014. "An Exploratory Analysis of Heterogeneity on Regional Labour Markets and Unemployment Rates in Colombia: An MFACT approach," Borradores de Economia 802, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    15. Cords, Dario, 2017. "Endogenous technology, matching, and labor unions: Does low-skilled immigration affect the technological alignment of the host country?," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 20-2017, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour Unions; Frictional Labour Markets; Time Inconsistency; Limited Commitment; Long-term Contracting;

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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