Unions and Wage Insurance
Existing theories of unions emphasize their impact on wage levels relative to the opportunity cost of leisure. This paper explores the possibility that monopoly unions provide income insurance against idiosyncratic wage variability. An optimal union contract is characterized by real wage and other types of flexibility only in response to systematic changes in underlying uncertainty. Under such conditions, there is no presumption that the `union wage premium' relative to the free market wage is positive. The model shows the effect of unemployment benefits, average productivity, and risk on the desirability of union membership, and offers an economic interpretation of equity and solidarity in union policy. It can also explain the negative correlation between inequality and unionism in developed countries.
|Date of creation:||Aug 1995|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1232. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.