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Wage Bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act

Author

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  • Quan Wen
  • Jesse A. Schwartz

Abstract

Sections 8(a)(3) and 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act prevent a firm from unilaterally increasing the wage it pays the union during the negotiation of a new wage contract. To understand this regulation, we study a counterfactual negotiation model where the firm can temporarily increase compensation to its employees during wage negotiations. Comparing this to the case where the firm does not have this option, we show that the firm may strategically increase the union's temporary wage to upset the union's incentive to strike, decreasing the union's bargaining power, and shrinking the set of permanent wage contracts that may arise in a perfect equilibrium. As the union becomes more patient, the best possible equilibrium contract to the union gets worse. In the limit, the uniqueness and hence the full efficiency of the perfect equilibrium are restored. We also demonstrate that allowing the union to refuse the firm's temporary compensation does not affect the set of perfect equilibrium outcomes

Suggested Citation

  • Quan Wen & Jesse A. Schwartz, 2004. "Wage Bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 554, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:feam04:554
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Fernandez, Raquel & Glazer, Jacob, 1991. "Striking for a Bargain between Two Completely Informed Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 240-252, March.
    3. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475, December.
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    6. Bolt, Wilko, 1995. "Striking for a Bargain between Two Completely Informed Agents: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1344-1347, December.
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    10. Busch, Lutz-Alexander & Wen, Quan, 1995. "Perfect Equilibria in Negotiation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 545-565, May.
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    13. Gunderson, Morley & Kervin, John & Reid, Frank, 1986. "Logit Estimates of Strike Incidence from Canadian Contract Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 257-276, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bargaining; Negotiation; Good Faith Bargaining;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory

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