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

Author

Listed:
  • Kaas, Leo

    () (Goethe University Frankfurt)

  • Madden, Paul

    () (University of Manchester)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaas, Leo & Madden, Paul, 2006. "Holdup in Oligopsonistic Labour Markets: A New Role for the Minimum Wage," IZA Discussion Papers 2043, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2043
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cahuc, Pierre & Michel, Philippe, 1996. "Minimum wage unemployment and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1463-1482, August.
    2. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 1999. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 827-849, November.
    3. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
    4. Bhaskar, V. & To, Ted, 2003. "Oligopsony and the distribution of wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 371-399, April.
    5. 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.
    6. Leo Kaas & Paul Madden, 2010. "Minimum wages and welfare in a Hotelling duopsony," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 43(2), pages 167-188, May.
    7. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 112-142, February.
    8. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    9. Bhaskar, V & To, Ted, 1999. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 190-203, April.
    10. Oliver D. Hart, 1985. "Monopolistic Competition in the Spirit of Chamberlin: A General Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 529-546.
    11. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Danziger, Eliav & Danziger, Leif, 2018. "The Optimal Graduated Minimum Wage and Social Welfare," IZA Discussion Papers 11386, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Paul Madden, 2010. "Gametheoretic analysis of basic team sports leagues," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1006, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    3. Danziger, Eliav & Danziger, Leif, 2018. "The Optimal Graduated Minimum Wage and Social Welfare," GLO Discussion Paper Series 188, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Bauducco, Sofía & Janiak, Alexandre, 2018. "The macroeconomic consequences of raising the minimum wage: Capital accumulation, employment and the wage distribution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 57-76.
    5. Eliav Danziger & Leif Danziger, 2018. "The Optimal Graduated Minimum Wage and Social Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 6943, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Kaas, Leo, 2010. "Human capital externalities with monopsonistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 95-97, February.
    7. Okumura, Yasunori, 2015. "Volume and share quotas in Cournot competition," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 137-144.
    8. Leo Kaas & Paul Madden, 2010. "Minimum wages and welfare in a Hotelling duopsony," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 43(2), pages 167-188, May.
    9. F. Angel-Urdinola, Diego, 2008. "Can the Introduction of a Minimum Wage in FYR Macedonia Decrease the Gender Wage Gap?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4795, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    minimum wage; investment; holdup;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy

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