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Strategic Union Delegation and Strike Activity



    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))


    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))


We develop a model of wage determination with private information, in which te union has the option to delegate the wage bargaining to either surplus-maximizing delegates or to wage-maximizing delegates (such as senior union members). We show that the strike activity is greater whenever the union chooses wage-maximizing delegates instead of surplus-maximizing delegates. We also provide the necessary and sufficient condition such that it is always optimal for the union to choose wage-maximizing delegates and we we find that the efficiency loss due to strategic delegation may be quite important.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana MAULEON & Vincent J. VANNETELBOSCH, 2002. "Strategic Union Delegation and Strike Activity," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002011, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2002011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-940, December.
    3. Stephen R. G. Jones, 1989. "The Role of Negotiators in Union-Firm Bargaining," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 22(3), pages 630-642, August.
    4. Dertouzos, James N & Pencavel, John H, 1981. "Wage and Employment Determination under Trade Unionism: The International Typographical Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1162-1181, December.
    5. Francis K. Cheung & Carl Davidson, 1991. "Bargaining Structure and Strike Activity," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(2), pages 345-371, May.
    6. Kennan, John & Wilson, Robert, 1993. "Bargaining with Private Information," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 45-104, March.
    7. Kennan, John & Wilson, Robert, 1989. "Strategic Bargaining Models and Interpretation of Strike Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(S), pages 87-130, Supplemen.
    8. Conlin, Michael & Furusawa, Taiji, 2000. "Strategic Delegation and Delay in Negotiations over the Bargaining Agenda," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 55-73, January.
    9. Tracy, Joseph S, 1986. "An Investigation into the Determinants of U.S. Strike Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 423-436, June.
    10. Joel Watson, 1998. "Alternating-Offer Bargaining with Two-Sided Incomplete Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 573-594.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mauleon, Ana & Vannetelbosch, Vincent, 2010. "Market integration and strike activity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 154-161, May.
    2. Ana Mauleon & Huasheng Song & Vincent Vannetelbosch, 2010. "Networks of Free Trade Agreements among Heterogeneous Countries," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(3), pages 471-500, June.
    3. A. Mauleon & Vincent Vannetelbosch & Cecilia Vergari, 2014. "Unions' Relative Concerns And Strikes In Wage Bargaining," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 374-383, October.
    4. Ana Mauleon & Vincent Vannetelbosch, 2006. "Strategic union delegation and incentives for merger," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 1-5.
    5. Yi-Chun Chen & Xiao Luo, 2008. "Delay in a bargaining game with contracts," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 65(4), pages 339-353, December.
    6. Ana Mauleon & Vincent Vannetelbosch, 2013. "Relative Concerns and Delays in Bargaining with Private Information," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-10, June.
    7. Pei-Cheng Liao, 2014. "Strategic Delegation of Multiple Tasks," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1-2), pages 77-96, June.

    More about this item


    Union delegation; Wage bargaining; Private information; Strike activity;

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation

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