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Unemployment and the 'Labour-Management Conspiracy'

  • Karp, Larry
  • Paul, Thierry

Management and a union bargain sequentially, first choosing a contract which will later determine the level of employment, and those choosing a wage. The government then chooses an output subsidy, after which the industry chooses employment according to the contract. The presence of a natural turnover rate in the unionized sector creates unemployment whenever the union wage exceeds the competitive wage. Government intervention can increase both the equilibrium amount of unemployment and worsen the intersectoral allocation of labour. Intervention can also reverse the relation between the equilibrium amount of unemployment and the flexibility of the labour market. Government intervention is especially damaging when labour markets are inflexible. Unemployment weakens, but does not eliminate, the possibility of a ‘labour-management conspiracy’.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1724.

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Date of creation: Oct 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1724
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  1. Karp, L. & Paul, T., 1998. "Unemployment and the "Labour-Management Conspiracy"," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 98a27, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  2. Begg, David & Portes, Richard, 1992. "Eastern Germany Since Unification: Wage Subsidies Remain a Better Way," CEPR Discussion Papers 730, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. C Bean, 1992. "European Unemployment: A Survey," CEP Discussion Papers dp0071, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Rodrik, Dani, 1986. "Tariffs, subsidies, and welfare with endogenous policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 285-299, November.
  5. Burda, Michael C & Funke, Michael, 1992. "Trade Unions, Wages and Structural Adjustment in the New German States," CEPR Discussion Papers 652, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1990. "Export Subsidies as an Outcome of the Management-Labor Conspiracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 803-13, August.
  7. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen & Helga Hessenius, 1991. "East Germany in from the Cold: The Economic Aftermath of Currency Union," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 1-106.
  8. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  9. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  10. Manning, Alan, 1987. "An Integration of Trade Union Models in a Sequential Bargaining Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(385), pages 121-39, March.
  11. Rodrik, Dani, 1987. "Policy Targeting with Endogenous Distortions: Theory of Optimum Subsidy Revisited," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 903-11, November.
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