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Holdup in Oligopsonistic Labour Markets: A New Role for the Minimum Wage

  • Kaas, Leo

    ()

    (University of Konstanz)

  • Madden, Paul

    ()

    (University of Manchester)

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We consider a labour market model of oligopsonistic wage competition and show that there is a holdup problem although workers do not have any bargaining power. When a firm invests more, it pays a higher wage in order to attract workers from competitors. Because workers participate in the returns on investment while only firms bear the costs, investment is inefficiently low. A binding minimum wage can achieve the first–best level of investment, both in the short run for a given number of firms and in the long run when the number of firms is endogenous.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2043.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2043
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  1. Malcomson, James M., 1999. "Individual employment contracts," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 2291-2372 Elsevier.
  2. Leo Kaas & Paul Madden, 2010. "Minimum wages and welfare in a Hotelling duopsony," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 167-188, May.
  3. Bhaskar, V. & To, Ted, 2003. "Oligopsony and the distribution of wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 371-399, April.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1998. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," Working papers 98-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Hart, Oliver D, 1985. "Monopolistic Competition in the Spirit of Chamberlin: A General Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 529-46, October.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 6740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 48-58, Spring.
  8. Cahuc, P. & Michel, P., 1992. "Minimum Wage, Unemployment and Growth," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 92.35, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  9. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
  10. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  11. V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 1996. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Labor and Demography 9603001, EconWPA, revised 21 May 1996.
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