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Wage Determination and Imperfect Competition

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  • Alison Booth

Abstract

A striking feature of the past few decades has been the development of wage determination models that assume that labour markets are imperfectly competitive. This paper discusses two such models (trade unions and oligopsony), although there are many more. It also asks if imperfectly competitive models should be used whenever researchers are modelling the labour market. Some people would argue for this only in cases when the predictions and comparative statics of the imperfectly competitive model differ from those of the competitive model. Of course, to know this, one needs to know precisely what the predictions and comparative statics of the respective models are. Moreover, for policymakers to be able to determine if an intervention is required in the first place, there does need to be some analytical framework to act as a guide. In the perfectly competitive model of the labour markets, for example, typically no intervention or regulation would be justified. However, labour economics has moved far beyond this position, with the incorporation of new ideas into modeling wage determination in imperfectly competitive labour markets, and with the availability of better datasets to facilitate empirical investigation.

Suggested Citation

  • Alison Booth, 2014. "Wage Determination and Imperfect Competition," CAMA Working Papers 2014-27, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2014-27
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    File URL: https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/publication/cama_crawford_anu_edu_au/2014-03/27_2014_booth.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sabien Dobbelaere & Jacques Mairesse, 2013. "Panel data estimates of the production function and product and labor market imperfections," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 1-46, January.
    2. Manning, Alan, 2011. "Imperfect Competition in the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1999. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 539-572, June.
    4. Alison L. Booth & Gylfi Zoega, 2004. "Is wage compression a necessary condition for firm-financed general training?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 88-97, January.
    5. Stewart, Mark B, 1990. "Union Wage Differentials, Product Market Influences and the Division of Rents," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1122-1137, December.
    6. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    7. Grout, Paul A, 1984. "Investment and Wages in the Absence of Binding Contracts: A Nash Bargining Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 449-460, March.
    8. Booth, Alison L. & Coles, Melvyn, 2007. "A microfoundation for increasing returns in human capital accumulation and the under-participation trap," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1661-1681, October.
    9. Bhaskar, V & To, Ted, 1999. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 190-203, April.
    10. Bernd Fitzenberger & Karsten Kohn & Alexander C. Lembcke, 2013. "Union Density and Varieties of Coverage: The Anatomy of Union Wage Effects in Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(1), pages 169-197, January.
    11. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-562, October.
    12. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2004. "Training and the new minimum wage," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages 87-94, March.
    13. Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538-538.
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    18. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sabien Dobbelaere & Rodolfo Lauterbach & Jacques Mairesse, 2016. "Micro-evidence on product and labor market regime differences between Chile and France," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 229-252, May.
    2. Dobbelaere, Sabien & Luttens, Roland Iwan, 2016. "Gradual collective wage bargaining," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 37-42.
    3. Joan Daouli & Michael Demoussis & Nicholas Giannakopoulos & Ioannis Laliotis, 2017. "The wage curve before and during the Greek economic crisis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 59-77, February.
    4. Sonia A. Agudelo & Hector Sala, 2016. "Wage setting in the Colombian manufacturing industry," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 24(1), pages 99-134, January.
    5. Sabien Dobbelaere & Jacques Mairesse, 2010. "Comparing Micro-evidence on Rent Sharing from Three Different Approaches," NBER Working Papers 16220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Dobbelaere, Sabien & Kiyota, Kozo & Mairesse, Jacques, 2015. "Product and labor market imperfections and scale economies: Micro-evidence on France, Japan and the Netherlands," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 290-322.
    7. repec:spr:jsecdv:v:19:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40847-017-0041-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:bla:randje:v:48:y:2017:i:4:p:906-926 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Roberto Burguet & Jozsef Sakovics, 2016. "Bidding for input in oligopoly," ESE Discussion Papers 266, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    10. Enrico D'Elia & Alessandra Righi, 2017. "Firm's level labour intensity in Italy after the Great Recession," Working Papers 1, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
    11. Ana Barufi & Eduardo Haddad & Peter Nijkamp, 2016. "A comprehensive analysis of the wage curve in Brazil: Non-linearities, urban size, and the spatial dimension," ERSA conference papers ersa16p279, European Regional Science Association.
    12. Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro & Varejão, José, 2014. "Labor demand research: Toward a better match between better theory and better data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 4-11.
    13. Roberto Burguet & József Sákovics, 2017. "Competitive foreclosure," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 48(4), pages 906-926, December.
    14. Cabo, Francisco & Martín-Román, Ángel L., 2017. "Dynamic collective bargaining. Frictional effects under open-shop industrial relations," MPRA Paper 77562, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Toyoki Matue, 2017. "Labor Market Institutions and Employment Fluctuations in Dynamic General Equilibrium Models," Discussion Papers 1701, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    16. Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja), 2014. "The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Youth Labour Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 8400, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage determination; oligopsony; trade unions; imperfect competition; labour markets;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design

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