IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Centralized Bargaining, Multi-Tasking and Work Incentives


  • Lindbeck, Assar

    () (Stockholm University)

  • Snower, Dennis J.

    () (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)


The paper examines the implications for wage bargaining of an important aspect of the ongoing reorganization of work - the move from occupational specialization toward multi-tasking. The analysis shows how, on account of such reorganization, centralized bargaining becomes increasingly inefficient and detrimental to firms’ profit opportunities, since it prevents firms from offering their employees adequate incentives to perform the appropriate mix of tasks. The paper also shows how centralized bargaining inhibits firms from using wages to induce workers to learn how to use their experience from one set of tasks to enhance their performance at other tasks. In this way, the paper may also help explain the increasing resistance to centralized bargaining in various advanced market economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1999. "Centralized Bargaining, Multi-Tasking and Work Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 56, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp56

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pisauro, Giuseppe, 1991. "The effect of taxes on labour in efficiency wage models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 329-345, December.
    2. Zoega, Gylfi, 1997. "Public Consumption and Unemployment," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(3), pages 269-279, August.
    3. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, June.
    4. Pissarides, Christopher A., 1998. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages; The role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-183, January.
    5. Goerke, Laszlo, 1997. "Taxes in an efficiency wage economy," Discussion Papers, Series II 335, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
    6. Hian Hoon, 1996. "Payroll taxes and VAT in a labor-turnover model of the ‘natural rate’," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(3), pages 369-383, July.
    7. Goerke, Laszlo, 1999. "Efficiency Wages and Taxes," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 131-142, June.
    8. Pemberton, James, 1992. "Taxation and Wage Bargaining," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 68(203), pages 318-327, December.
    9. Solow, Robert M., 1979. "Another possible source of wage stickiness," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 79-82.
    10. Michael Hoel, 1990. "Efficiency wages and income taxes," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 89-99, February.
    11. Lin, Chung-Cheng & Lai, Ching-Chong, 1997. "The Solow Condition in an Efficiency Wage Model with Overtime Work," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(69), pages 342-350, December.
    12. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    13. Koskela, Erkki & Schob, Ronnie, 1999. "Alleviating unemployment:: The case for green tax reforms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1723-1746, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 353-376, July.

    More about this item


    information flows; wage formation; restructuring of firms; centralized wage bargaining; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp56. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.