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Symphony Musicians and Symphony Orchestras


  • Flanagan, Robert J.

    (Stanford U)


This paper investigates the extent to which the economic challenges faced by symphony orchestras in the United States reflect collectively bargained wage increases and work rules. Since the late 1960s, collective bargaining agreements have transformed the artistic expenses of orchestras from variable to fixed costs by providing both wage and employment guarantees. The resulting agreements limit the ability of orchestras to adjust labor costs in the face of financial challenges, and the paper presents econometric evidence indicating that musicians' wages are not significantly correlated with measures of their orchestra's financial balance. The paper discusses features of the nonprofit governance of symphony orchestras which reduces the bargaining resistance of orchestras to wage and employment security proposals.

Suggested Citation

  • Flanagan, Robert J., 2008. "Symphony Musicians and Symphony Orchestras," Research Papers 1989, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1989

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Govindan, Srihari & Wilson, Robert, 2003. "A global Newton method to compute Nash equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 65-86, May.
    2. Srihari Govindan & Robert Wilson, 2010. "A decomposition algorithm for N-player games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 42(1), pages 97-117, January.
    3. Talman, A.J.J. & van der Laan, G., 1980. "A new subdivision for computing fixed points with a homotopy algorithm," Other publications TiSEM d702630e-5e0d-4c31-bd1e-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Govindan, Srihari & Wilson, Robert, 2004. "Computing Nash equilibria by iterated polymatrix approximation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1229-1241, April.
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