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Can Insider Power Affect Employment?

  • Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar
  • Snower, Dennis J.

Do firms reduce employment when their insiders (established, incumbent employees) claim higher wages? The conventional answer in the theoretical literature is that insider power has no influence on employment, provided that the newly hired employees (entrants) receive their reservation wages. The reason given is that an increase in insider wages gives rise to a counterveiling fall in reservation wages, leaving the present value of wage costs unchanged. Our analysis contradicts this conventional answer. We show that, in the context of a stochastic model of the labor market, an increase in insider wages promotes firing in recessions, while leaving hiring in booms unchanged. Thereby insider power reduces average employment.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3472.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3472
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  1. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 1994. "Insider Power, Wage Discrimination and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 571-83, May.
  3. Gottfries, Nils & Sjostrom, Tomas, 2000. " Insider Bargaining Power, Starting Wages and Involuntary Unemployment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(4), pages 669-88, December.
  4. Manzini, Paola & Snower, Dennis J., 1996. "On the Foundations of Wage Bargaining," CEPR Discussion Papers 1514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  6. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "On-the-Job Training and the Effects of Insider Power," IZA Discussion Papers 586, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Vetter, Henrik & Andersen, Torben M, 1994. "Do Turnover Costs Protect Insiders?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(422), pages 124-30, January.
  8. Burda, Michael C, 1992. " A Note on Firing Costs and Severance Benefits in Equilibrium Unemployment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(3), pages 479-89.
  9. Frank, Jeff, 1985. "Trade Union Efficiency and Overemployment with Seniority Wage Scales," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380), pages 1021-34, December.
  10. Assar Lindbeck & Dennis J. Snower, 2001. "Insiders versus Outsiders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 165-188, Winter.
  11. Frank, Jeff & Malcomson, James M., 1994. "Trade unions and seniority employment rules," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1595-1611, October.
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