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Insider Power In Wage Determination

  • BLANCHFLOWER, D.
  • OSWALD, A.
  • GARRETT, M.

The paper argues that wage determination is best seen as a kind of rent sharing in which workers' bargaining power is influenced by conditions in the external labour market. It uses British establishment data from 1984 to show that pay depends upon a blend of insider pressure (including the employer's financial performance and oligopolistic position) and outsider pressure (including external wages and unemployment). Lester's feasible 'range' of wages appears typically to be between 8% and 22% of pay. Estimates of the unemployment elasticity of the wage lie in a narrow band around -0.1.

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Paper provided by London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics in its series Papers with number 319.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 1988
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:lseple:319
Contact details of provider: Postal: LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE, CENTER FOR LABOUR ECONOMICS, HOUGHTON STREET LONDON WC2A 2AE ENGLAND.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. Johnson, George E, 1990. "Work Rules, Featherbedding, and Pareto-optimal Union-Management Bargaining," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S237-59, January.
  2. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  3. Holmlund, B. & Skedinger, P., 1988. "Wage Bargaining And Wage Drift: Evidence From Swedish Wood Industry," Papers 1988g, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  4. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
  6. Gottfries, Nils & Horn, Henrik, 1987. "Wage Formation and the Persistence of Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 877-84, December.
  7. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen, 1986. "Unemployment in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S121-69, Supplemen.
  8. Mcconnell, S., 1988. "Strikes, Wages And Private Information," Papers 10, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  9. Stewart, Mark B, 1987. "Collective Bargaining Arrangements, Closed Shops and Relative Pay," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(385), pages 140-56, March.
  10. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1988. "Cooperation, Harassment, and Involuntary Unemployment: An Insider-Outsider Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 167-88, March.
  11. Oswald, Andrew J & Turnbull, Peter J, 1985. "Pay and Employment Determination in Britain: What Are Labour," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 80-97, Summer.
  12. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Nickell, S. & Wadhwani, S., 1989. "Insider Forces And Wage Determination," Papers 334, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  14. Alan B. Krueger & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Reflections on the Inter-Industry Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 1968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A. & Garrett, M., 1988. "Insider Power In Wage Determination," Papers 319, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  16. Solow, Robert M, 1985. " Insiders and Outsiders in Wage Determination," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 411-28.
  17. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1986. "Wage Setting, Unemployment, and Insider-Outsider Relations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 235-39, May.
  18. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1984. "Involuntary Unemployment as a Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1351-64, November.
  19. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
  20. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  21. Pencavel, John, 1985. " Wages and Employment under Trade Unionism: Microeconomic Models and Macroeconomic Applications," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 197-225.
  22. Holmlund, B. & Skedinger, P., 1988. "Wage Bargaining And Wage Drift: Evidence From The Swedish Wood Industry," Papers 419, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  23. Rowlatt, Penelope A, 1987. "A Model of Wage Bargaining," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(4), pages 347-72, November.
  24. Carruth, Alan & Oswald, Andrew, 1987. "Wage Inflexibility in Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(1), pages 59-78, February.
  25. Gregory, R G, 1986. "Wages Policy and Unemployment in Australia," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S53-74, Supplemen.
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