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Wage Contracts with Incomplete and Costly Information

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  • Joshua Aizenman

Abstract

Optimal wage indexation, as derived by Gray, was subject to criticism due to a lack of efficient use of information; failure to clear the market which resulted in non-optimal contracts; and the lack of an explicit use of welfare criteria. The purpose of this paper is to derive a wage contract scheme that is free from the above criticism, but is capable of preserving the insight of Cray's analysis. In so doing the analysis reveals the role of costs of information collection in a world characterized by incomplete information.The analysis focuses also on the interaction between wage indexation and costly information collection as alternative adjustment schemes.It is shown that the first depends only on relative variances, whereas the second also depends on aggregate volatility. The justification for labor contracts hinges on the cost of information collection and last minute wage negotiation.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Aizenman, 1983. "Wage Contracts with Incomplete and Costly Information," NBER Working Papers 1150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1150
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-113, May.
    2. Karni, Edi, 1983. "On Optimal Wage Indexation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 282-292, April.
    3. Cukierman, Alex, 1980. "The effects of wage indexation on macroeconomic fluctuations : A generalization," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 147-170, April.
    4. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
    5. Robert J. Barro, 1972. "A Theory of Monopolistic Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 17-26.
    6. Baily, Martin Neil, 1977. "On the Theory of Layoffs and Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1043-1063, July.
    7. Robert P. Flood & Nancy Peregrim Marion, 1982. "The Transmission of Disturbances under Alternative Exchange-Rate Regimes with Optimal Indexing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(1), pages 43-66.
    8. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marston, Richard C. & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 1985. "Macroeconomic stabilization through taxation and indexation: The use of firm-specific information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 375-395, November.

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