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Individual vs. Collective Bargaining in the Large Firm Search Model

  • Bauer, Christian
  • Lingens, Jörg

We analyze the welfare and employment effects of different wage bargaining regimes. Within the large firm search model, we show that collective bargaining affects employment via two channels. Collective bargaining exerts opposing effects on job creation and wage setting. Firms have a stronger incentive for strategic employment, while workers benefit from the threat of a strike. We find that the employment increase due to the strategic motive is dominated by the employment decrease due to the increase in workers' threat point. In aggregate equilibrium, employment is ineciently low under collective bargaining. But it is not always true that equilibrium wages exceed those under individual bargaining. If unemployment benefits are sufficiently low, collectively bargained wages are smaller. The theory sheds new light on policies concerned with strategic employment and the relation between replacement rates and the extent of collective wage bargaining.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 11315.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:11315
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  1. Smith, Eric, 1994. "Search, Concave Production, and Optimal Firm Size," CEPR Discussion Papers 882, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
  3. Julien Prat & Gabriel Felbermayr, 2007. "Product Market Regulation, Firm Selection and Unemployment," 2007 Meeting Papers 667, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  5. William Hawkins & Daron Acemoglu, 2010. "Equilibrium Unemployment in a Generalized Search Model," 2010 Meeting Papers 1040, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Monique Ebell & Christian Haefke, 2002. "Product market deregulation and the U.S. employment miracle," Economics Working Papers 930, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 2006.
  7. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  8. Robert E. Hall, 2003. "Modern Theory of Unemployment Fluctuations: Empirics and Policy Applications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 145-150, May.
  9. Cahuc, Pierre & Wasmer, Etienne, 2001. "Does Intrafirm Bargaining Matter In The Large Firm'S Matching Model?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(05), pages 742-747, November.
  10. Oswald, Andrew J., 1993. "Efficient contracts are on the labour demand curve : Theory and facts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 85-113, June.
  11. Cahuc, Pierre & Marque, François & Wasmer, Etienne, 2004. "A Theory of Wages and Labour Demand with Intra-firm Bargaining and Matching Frictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4605, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, July.
  13. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410, July.
  14. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
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