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The Distribution of Earnings under Monopsonistic/polistic Competition

  • Thisse, Jacques-François
  • Toulemonde, Eric

Recent empirical contributions in labor economics suggest that individual firms face upward sloping labor supplies. We rationalize this by assuming that idiosyncratic non-pecuniary conditions interact with money wages in workers’ decisions to work for specific firms. Likewise, firms supply differentiated goods in response to differences in consumer tastes. Hence, firms are price-makers and wage-setters. By combining monopolistic and monopsonistic competition, our setting captures general equilibrium interactions between the two markets. The equilibrium involves double exploitation of labor. Compared to the competitive outcome, the high-productive workers are overpaid under free entry, whereas the low-productive workers are underpaid. In the same vein, capital-owners receive a premium, whereas workers are exploited.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7981.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7981
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  1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  2. Orley C. Ashenfelter & Henry Farber & Michael R. Ransom, 2010. "Modern Models of Monopsony in Labor Markets: A Brief Survey," Working Papers 1223, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Hamilton, Jonathan & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Zenou, Yves, 2000. "Wage Competition with Heterogeneous Workers and Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 453-72, July.
  4. Kim, Sunwoong, 1989. "Labor Specialization and the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 692-705, June.
  5. Ransom, Michael R, 1993. "Seniority and Monopsony in the Academic Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 221-33, March.
  6. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  7. Alan Manning & Ted To, 2002. "Oligopsony and Monopsonistic Competition in Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 155-174, Spring.
  8. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1995. "Complementarities and Cumulative Processes in Models of Monopolistic Competition," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 701-729, June.
  9. Venkataraman Bhaskar & Ted To, 1999. "Oligopsony and the Distribution of Wages," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-42, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  10. de la Rica, Sara & Dolado, Juan J. & Vegas, Raquel, 2010. "Performance Pay and the Gender Wage Gap: Evidence from Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 7936, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Sherwin Rosen, 2002. "Markets and Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 1-15, March.
  12. John K. Dagsvik, 2002. "Discrete Choice in Continuous Time: Implications of an Intertemporal Version of the Iia Property," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 817-831, March.
  13. David Card & Thomas Lemieux & W. Craig Riddell, 2004. "Unions and Wage Inequality," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(4), pages 519-562, October.
  14. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  15. William M. Boal & Michael R. Ransom, 1997. "Monopsony in the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 86-112, March.
  16. V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 1996. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Labor and Demography 9603001, EconWPA, revised 21 May 1996.
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