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Can Monopoly Unionism Explain Publically Induced Retirement?

  • Casey B Mulligan

It has long been suggested that trade unions take actions and favor public policies that reduce the quantity of labor so that union members might enjoy greater labor incomes. Can this explain the prevalence of generous public pension programs inducing retirement? I suggest not, by formalizing the monopoly unionism model and showing how labor's interest in reducing the quantity of labor cannot explain why the old are induced to retire rather than discouraging work among workers of all ages. Discouraging work of a subset of union workers introduces allocative inefficiencies without promoting the objectives of the monopoly union. And, unless the old have a disproportionate influence within the union, union interests cannot explain why public pension programs are so generous.

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Paper provided by Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State in its series University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State with number 157.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fth:chices:157
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  1. Rees, Albert, 1989. "The Economics of Trade Unions," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226707105.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "Generational Accounting around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number auer99-1, December.
  3. P. A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1977. "A Model of Social Insurance With Variable Retirement," Working papers 210, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Kotlikoff, L.J. & Raffelhuschen, B., 1999. "Generational Accounting around the Globe," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 195, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  5. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1994. "A Positive Theory of Social Security," CEPR Discussion Papers 1025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Michele Boldrin & Sergi Jimenez-Martin & Franco Peracchi, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in Spain," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 305-353 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Social Security in Theory and Practice (I): Facts and Political Theories," NBER Working Papers 7118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1992. "Social Security and Medicare Policy from the Perspective of Generational Accounting," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 6, pages 129-145 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Social security in theory and practice (II): Efficiency theories, narrative theories and implications for reform," Economics Working Papers 385, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  10. Robert P. Hagemann & Christoph John, 1997. "Fiscal Reform In Sweden: What Generational Accounting Tells Us," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(3), pages 1-12, 07.
  11. MaCurdy, Thomas E & Pencavel, John H, 1986. "Testing between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S3-S39, June.
  12. Casey B Mulligan, 1999. "Gerontocracy, Retirement, and Social Security," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 154, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  13. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
  14. Lawrence H. Summers & Jonathan Gruber & Rodrigo Vergara, 1992. "Taxation and the Structure of Labor Markets: The Case of Corporatism," NBER Working Papers 4063, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Microfoundations and macro implications of indivisible labor," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 126, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  16. Kremer, Michael & Thomson, James, 1998. " Why Isn't Convergence Instantaneous? Young Workers, Old Workers, and Gradual Adjustment," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 5-28, March.
  17. Jensen, Svend E Hougaard & Raffelhuschen, Bernd, 1997. "Generational and Gender-Specific Aspects of the Tax and Transfer System in Denmark," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 615-35.
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