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Pattern bargaining

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Marshall
  • Antonio Merlo

Abstract

Many unions in the United States have for several years engaged in what is known as pattern bargaining—a union determines a sequence for negotiations with firms within an industry where the agreement with the first firm becomes the take-it-or-leave-it offer by the union for all subsequent negotiations. In this paper, we show that pattern bargaining is preferred by a union to both simultaneous industrywide negotiations and sequential negotiations without a pattern. In recent years, unions have increasingly moved away from patterns that equalized wage rates across firms when these patterns did not equalize interfirm labor costs. Allowing for interfirm productivity differentials within an industry, we show that for small interfirm productivity differentials, the union most prefers a pattern in wages, but for a sufficiently wide differential, the union prefers a pattern in labor costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Marshall & Antonio Merlo, 1996. "Pattern bargaining," Staff Report 220, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:220
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    Other versions of this item:

    • Robert C. Marshall & Antonio Merlo, 2004. "Pattern Bargaining," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 239-255, February.

    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. Henrick Horn & Asher Wolinsky, 1988. "Bilateral Monopolies and Incentives for Merger," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 408-419, Autumn.
    3. Dobson, Paul W., 1994. "Multifirm unions and the incentive to adopt pattern bargaining in oligopoly," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 87-100, January.
    4. Kathryn J. Ready, 1990. "Is Pattern Bargaining Dead?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 272-279, January.
    5. Daniel Diermeier & Roger B. Myerson, 1994. "Bargaining," Discussion Papers 1089, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5987 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Haskel, Jonathan & Iozzi, Alberto & Valletti, Tommaso, 2013. "Market structure, countervailing power and price discrimination: The case of airports," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 12-26.
    3. Matsushima, Noriaki & Shinohara, Ryusuke, 2014. "What factors determine the number of trading partners?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 428-441.
    4. Noriaki Matsushima & Laixun Zhao, 2010. "Multimarket linkages, buyer power, and the productivity puzzle," ISER Discussion Paper 0797, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    5. Alberto Iozzi & Tommaso Valletti, 2014. "Vertical Bargaining and Countervailing Power," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 106-135, August.
    6. Krasteva, Silvana & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2012. "On the role of confidentiality and deadlines in bilateral negotiations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 714-730.
    7. Alfonso Arpaia & Karl Pichelmann, 2007. "Nominal and real wage flexibility in EMU," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 299-328, November.
    8. Creane, Anthony & Davidson, Carl, 2011. "The trade-offs from pattern bargaining with uncertain production costs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 246-262, February.
    9. Marx, Leslie M. & Shaffer, Greg, 2007. "Rent shifting and the order of negotiations," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 1109-1125, October.
    10. Clark, Derek J. & Pereau, Jean Christophe, 2009. "Fragmented property rights and royalty bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 546-553, October.
    11. Noriaki Matsushima & Ryusuke Shinohara, 2015. "The efficiency of monopolistic provision of public goods through simultaneous bilateral bargaining," ISER Discussion Paper 0948, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    12. Stenbacka, Rune & Tombak, Mihkel, 2012. "Make and buy: Balancing bargaining power," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 391-402.
    13. Dan Goldhaber & Lesley Lavery & Roddy Theobald, 2014. "My End of the Bargain," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 67(4), pages 1274-1305, October.
    14. Donna Brown & Peter Ingram & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2004. "Everyone's A Winner? Union Effects on Persistence in Private Sector Wage Settlements: Longitudinal Evidence from Britain," School of Economics Discussion Papers 1104, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    15. Milliou, Chrysovalantou & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 2007. "Upstream horizontal mergers, vertical contracts, and bargaining," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 963-987, October.
    16. Stéphane Caprice & Vanessa Schlippenbach, 2013. "One-Stop Shopping as a Cause of Slotting Fees: A Rent-Shifting Mechanism," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 468-487, September.
    17. Sly, Nicholas & Soderbery, Anson, 2014. "Strategic sourcing and wage bargaining," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 172-187.
    18. Marx, Leslie M. & Shaffer, Greg, 2010. "Break-up fees and bargaining power in sequential contracting," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 451-463, September.
    19. Milliou, Chrysovalantou & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 2005. "Upstream horizontal mergers, bargaining, vertical contracts," UC3M Working papers. Economics we051507, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    20. Chrysovalantou Miliou & Emmanuel Petrakis, 2005. "Upstream Horizontal Mergers, Bargaining and Vertical Contracts," Working Papers 0509, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
    21. Chongvilaivan, Aekapol & Hur, Jung & Riyanto, Yohanes E., 2013. "Labor union bargaining and firm organizational structure," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 116-124.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor contract ; Labor unions;

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