Malfeasance in Long Term Employment Contracts: A New General Model with an Application to Unionism
This paper argues that the structure of long-term employment contractsis influenced by the possibility that at least four different kinds of opportunistic behavior, or "malfeasance,"may occur in them. While the consequences of some of these problems have been examined in various papers,no single model has yet treated all four and thus brought out their essential symmetry. In particular, a certain kind of malfeasance by firms has apparently been universally overlooked-an oversight we try to remedy by developing a simple model here. Other advantages of the present model are that, unlike other models, it endogenizes the path of both sides of the contract -wages and effort -and has fairly intuitive first-order conditions. It also shows how earlier conclusions, such as the notion that wages are likely to rise faster than marginal products in equilibrium, are the results of less-than-general model specification, and has some interesting implications when applied to unionism: by proposing that unions act as workers'equivalent to certain contract enforcement policies like the disciplinary dismissals used by firms, it provides what is to the author's knowledge the only consistent theoretical explanation of the quite commonly observed U-shaped pattern of the union wage effect by age and shows how unions might play a positive efficiency role in this regard.
|Date of creation:||Dec 1982|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
- James L. Medoff & Katharine G. Abraham, 1981. "Involuntary Terminations under Explicit and Implicit Employment Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979.
"Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts,"
NBER Working Papers
0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Masanori Hashimoto & Ben T. Yu, 1980. "Specific Capital, Employmemt Contracts, and Wage Rigidity," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 536-549, Autumn.
- Grossman, Herschel I., 1978. "Risk shifting, layoffs, and seniority," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 661-686, November.
- Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352-352.
- Hall, Robert E & Lazear, Edward P, 1984.
"The Excess Sensitivity of Layoffs and Quits to Demand,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 233-257, April.
- Robert E. Hall & Edward P. Lazear, 1982. "The Excess Sensitivity of Layoffs and Quits to Demand," NBER Working Papers 0864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-641, August.
- George E. Johnson & Kenwood C. Youmans, 1971. "Union Relative Wage Effects by Age and Education," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 24(2), pages 171-179, January.
- Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
- Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1978. "The Effect of Trade Unionism on Fringe Benefits," NBER Working Papers 0292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1045. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.