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Labour Contracts, Equal Treatment and Wage-Unemployment Dynamics

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Abstract

This paper analyses a model in which firms cannot pay discriminate based on year of entry to a firm, and develops an equilibrium model of wage dynamics and unemployment. The model is developed under the assumption of worker mobility, so that workers can costlessly quit jobs at any time. Firms on the other hand are committed to contracts. Thus the model is related to Beaudry and DiNardo (1991). We solve for the dynamics of wages and unemployment, and show that real wages do not necessarily clear the labor market. Using sectoral productivity data from the post-war US economy, we assess the ability of the model to match actual unemployment and wage series. We also show that equal treatment follows in our model from the assumption of at-will employment contracting.

Suggested Citation

  • Andy Snell & Jonathan Thomas, 2006. "Labour Contracts, Equal Treatment and Wage-Unemployment Dynamics," ESE Discussion Papers 144, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:144
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    1. Louis N. Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in Canadian Collective Bargaining Agreements," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 429-448, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Fongoni & Alex Dickson, 2015. "A theory of wage setting behavior," Working Papers 1505, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2016.
    2. Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2007. "Limited Commitment Models Of The Labour Market," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(5), pages 750-773, November.
    3. Menzio, Guido & Moen, Espen R., 2010. "Worker replacement," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 623-636, September.
    4. Snell, Andy & Stüber, Heiko & Thomas, Jonathan P., 2018. "Downward Real Wage Rigidity and Equal Treatment Wage Contracts: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 11504, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Michael W. L. Elsby & Donggyun Shin & Gary Solon, 2016. "Wage Adjustment in the Great Recession and Other Downturns: Evidence from the United States and Great Britain," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 249-291.
    6. Andy Snell & Pedro Martins & Heiko Stüber & Jonathan P. Thomas, 2018. "Bias in Returns to Tenure When Firm Wages and Employment Comove: A Quantitative Assessment and Solution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74.
    7. Michael W. L. Elsby & Ryan Michaels & David Ratner, 2015. "The Beveridge Curve: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(3), pages 571-630, September.
    8. Jonathan Thomas & Andy Snell, 2007. " Real and Nominal Wage Rigidity in a Model of Equal-Treatment Contracting," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0708, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    9. Pedro S. Martins & Gary Solon & Jonathan Thomas, 2010. "Measuring What Employers Really Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 15767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor contracts; business cycle; unemployment; equal treatment; cohort effects;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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