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Pattern Bargaining and Wage Leadership in a Small Open Economy

  • Calmfors, Lars

    ()

    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

  • Larsson, Anna

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)

Pattern bargaining where the tradables (manufacturing) sector acts as wage leader is a common form of wage bargaining in Europe. Our results question the conventional wisdom that such a bargaining set-up produces wage restraint. We find that all forms of pattern bargaining give the same macroeconomic outcomes as uncoordinated bargaining under inflation targeting and a flexible exchange rate. Under monetary union (a fixed exchange rate) wage leadership for the non-tradables sector is conducive to wage restraint and high employment, whereas wage leadership for the tradables sector is not. Loss aversion and comparison thinking in wage setting, where unions evaluate the utility of the wages of their members relative to a wage norm, may lead the follower to set the same wage as the leader. Such equilibria can arise when the leader sector is the smaller sector and promote high employment.

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Paper provided by Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies in its series Seminar Papers with number 760.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 07 Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0760
Contact details of provider: Postal: Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-162000
Fax: +46-8-161443
Web page: http://www.iies.su.se/

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  1. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "How strong is the case for downward real wage rigidity?," Working Papers 07-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Vartiainen, Juhana, 2010. "Interpreting Wage Bargaining Norms," Working Paper 116, National Institute of Economic Research.
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  5. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  6. Fabrizio Coricelli & Alex Cukierman & Alberto Dalmazzo, 2006. "Monetary Institutions, Monopolistic Competition, Unionized Labor Markets and Economic Performance," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 39-63, 03.
  7. Vartiainen, Juhana, 2002. " Relative Prices in Monetary Union and Floating," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(2), pages 277-87, June.
  8. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Devereux, Michael P. & Guiso, Luigi & Hassler, John & Saint-Paul, Gilles & Sinn, Hans-Werner & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vives, Xavier, 2010. "The European economy," Munich Reprints in Economics 20104, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. David Soskice & Torben Iversen, 2000. "The Nonneutrality Of Monetary Policy With Large Price Or Wage Setters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 265-284, February.
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