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Overtime pay premiums in a unionized oligopoly

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    This paper studies how a high overtime wage rate and a low labor stock may be used as commitment devices by price-setting firms. We show that high overtime pay premiums may both decrease and increase equilibrium employment. If an employment-oriented union or the firm itself sets the overtime wage, then the overtime wage premium will be high enough to ensure that no overtime is used in equilibrium. If the overtime wage is set by a sufficiently wage-oriented union, however, overtime will be used in equilibrium, and employment is substantially lower. Thus the authorities may be able to increase employment if it can make a union act in a less wage-oriented manner. We show that this can be done by setting a minimum overtime pay premium. Minimum wage regulation could have the opposite effect.

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    Paper provided by University of Bergen, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 22/02.

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    Length: 25 pages
    Date of creation: 09 Dec 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2002_022
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Institutt for √łkonomi, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway
    Phone: (+47)55589200
    Fax: (+47)55589210
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    1. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Stephen J. Trejo, 2000. "The Demand for Hours of Labor: Direct Evidence from California," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 38-47, February.
    2. Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1970. "Absenteeism and the Overtime Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 352-57, June.
    3. Bauer, Thomas & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1999. "Overtime Work and Overtime Compensation in Germany," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 46(4), pages 419-36, September.
    4. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
    5. King, Stephen P., 1997. "Oligopoly and overtime," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 149-165, June.
    6. Trejo, Stephen J, 1991. "The Effects of Overtime Pay Regulation on Worker Compensation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 719-40, September.
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