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Monopsony Power, Pay Structure and Training

  • Mühlemann, Samuel

    ()

    (University of Munich)

  • Ryan, Paul

    ()

    (King's College Cambridge)

  • Wolter, Stefan C.

    ()

    (University of Bern)

Although interest in monopsonistic influences on labour market outcomes has revived in recent years, only a few empirical studies provide direct evidence on it. This paper analyses empirically the effect of monopsony power on pay structure, using a direct measure of labour market 'thinness'. We find that having fewer competitors for skilled labour is associated at the level of the establishment with lower pay for both skilled labour and trainees, but not for unskilled labour. These findings have potentially important implications for the economic theory of training, as most recent models assume that skilled pay is set monopsonistically but both unskilled and trainee pay are determined competitively. Our results support those assumptions for skilled pay and unskilled pay, but not for trainee pay.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5587.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2013, 66 (5), 1095-1112
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5587
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  4. Regina Dionisius & Samuel Muehlemann & Harald Pfeifer & Günter Walden & Felix Wenzelmann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2008. "Cost and Benefit of Apprenticeship Training – A Comparison of Germany and Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 2287, CESifo Group Munich.
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  12. Alan Manning, 2003. "The real thin theory: monopsony in modern labour markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20050, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  14. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel & Simpson, Helen, 2007. "Firm location decisions, regional grants and agglomeration externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 413-435, April.
  15. Hirsch, Barry T. & Schumacher, Edward J., 1995. "Monopsony power and relative wages in the labor market for nurses," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 443-476, October.
  16. 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.
  17. Stevens, M., 1999. "Should Firms be Required to Pay for Vocational Training?," Economics Papers 1999-w4, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  18. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1999. "Do Workers Pay for On-The-Job Training?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 235-252.
  19. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F112-42, February.
  20. Edwin Leuven, 2005. "The Economics of Private Sector Training: A Survey of the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 91-111, 02.
  21. Boris Hirsch & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel, 2010. "Differences in Labor Supply to Monopsonistic Firms and the Gender Pay Gap: An Empirical Analysis Using Linked Employer-Employee Data from Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 291-330, 04.
  22. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
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  24. Douglas Staiger & Joanne Spetz & Ciaran Phibbs, 1999. "Is There Monopsony in the Labor Market? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Muehlemann, Samuel & Pfeifer, Harald & Walden, Günter & Wenzelmann, Felix & Wolter, Stefan C., 2010. "The financing of apprenticeship training in the light of labor market regulations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 799-809, October.
  26. William M. Boal & Michael R. Ransom, 1997. "Monopsony in the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 86-112, March.
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  28. Ashenfelter, Orley & Farber, Henry S & Ransom, Michael R., 2010. "Modern Models of Monopsony in Labor Markets: A Brief Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 4915, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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