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Efficiency Wages Revisited: The Internal Reference Perspective

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  • Danthine, Jean-Pierre
  • Kurmann, Andre

Abstract

The missing wage rigidity in general equilibrium models of efficiency wages is an artifact of the external wage reference perspective conventionally adopted by the literature. Efficiency wage models based on an internal wage reference perspective are capable of generating strong wage rigidity. We propose a structural model of efficiency wages that is broadly consistent with the reported evidence on fairness in labour relations and rent-sharing. Our model provides a robust explanation for wage rigidity and procyclical effort. It also rationalizes reciprocal behaviour by workers and the observation that firm productivity is a significant predictor of wage setting.

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  • Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Kurmann, Andre, 2004. "Efficiency Wages Revisited: The Internal Reference Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 4503, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4503
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    1. Jean-Pierre Danthine & Andre Kurmann, 2004. "Fair Wages in a New Keynesian Model of the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 107-142, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Michel Grandmont, 2016. "Endogenous Procyclicality of Labor Productivity, Employment, Real Wages and Effort in Conditionally Heteroskedastic Sunspots Unemployment Business Cycles with Negishi-Solow Efficiency Wages," Discussion Paper Series DP2016-14, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    2. Mondal, Debasis & Gupta, Manash Ranjan, 2008. "Intellectual property rights protection and unemployment in a North South model: A theoretical analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 463-484, May.
    3. Basu, Arnab K. & Chau, Nancy H. & Soundararajan, Vidhya, 2019. "Wage fairness in a subcontracted labor market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 24-42.
    4. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2017. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labor Market Effects of Trade Liberalization," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 10, pages 265-306, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "Are real wages rigid downwards?," Working Paper 2007/01, Norges Bank.
    6. Dickson, Alex & Fongoni, Marco, 2019. "Asymmetric reference-dependent reciprocity, downward wage rigidity, and the employment contract," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 409-429.
    7. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb, 2009. "A note on internal and external reference in efficiency wage models," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 96(1), pages 79-86, January.
    8. Laszlo Goerke, 2020. "An Efficiency-Wage Model with Habit Concerns about Wages," CESifo Working Paper Series 8428, CESifo.
    9. Bhattacharyya, Chandril & Gupta, Manash Ranjan, 2014. "Unionised labour market, efficiency wage and endogenous growth," MPRA Paper 58332, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "How strong is the case for downward real wage rigidity?," Working Papers 07-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    11. Bastos, Paulo & Monteiro, Natália P. & Straume, Odd Rune, 2009. "Firm heterogeneity and wages in unionised labour markets: Theory and evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 440-450, August.
    12. Sessions, John G. & Skåtun, John D., 2015. "Shirking, Standards and the Probability of Detection," IZA Discussion Papers 8863, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. John G. Sessions & John D. Skåtun, 2017. "Performance-Related Pay, Efficiency Wages and the Shape of the Tenure-Earnings Profile," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 85(3), pages 295-319, June.
    14. Matthias Strifler & Thomas Beissinger, 2016. "Fairness Considerations in Labor Union Wage Setting – A Theoretical Analysis," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 63(3), pages 303-330, July.
    15. Bhattacharyya, Chandril & Gupta, Manash Ranjan, 2020. "Union, Efficiency of Labour and Endogenous Growth," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 61(2), pages 170-202, December.
    16. Laszlo Goerke, 2021. "Habit formation and wage determination," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 42(1), pages 61-76, January.
    17. John G. Sessions & John D. Skåtun, 2018. "Shirking, Standards And The Probability Of Detection," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 103-118, April.
    18. Markus Knell & Alfred Stiglbauer, 2012. "Reference Norms, Staggered Wages, And Wage Leadership: Theoretical Implications And Empirical Evidence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 569-592, May.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    efficiency wages; reciprocity; rent-sharing; wage rigidity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General

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