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An Empirical Model of Wage Indexation Provisions in Union Contracts

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  • David Card

Abstract

Cost of living escalators are an important feature of North American labor contracts. This paper presents a measure of the response of index-linked wage increases to concurrent price increases for a sample of Canadian contracts, and then analyses this response in terms of a simple model of indexation to the aggregate price level. The model highlights the importance of aggregate price movements in conveying information about industry-specific prices. The empirical analysis confirms that industry-specific correlations between input and output prices and the Consumer Price Index are important determinants of the response of wage to prices across index contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • David Card, 1984. "An Empirical Model of Wage Indexation Provisions in Union Contracts," NBER Working Papers 1388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1388
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    1. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
    3. Brown, James N & Ashenfelter, Orley, 1986. "Testing the Efficiency of Employment Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 40-87, June.
    4. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1979. "Wage Indexing Rules and the Behavior of the Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 798-815, August.
    5. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Danziger, Leif & San, Gee, 1983. "Cost-of-Living Adjustment Clauses in Union Contracts: A Summary of Results," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(3), pages 215-245, July.
    6. Farber, Henry S, 1978. "Individual Preferences and Union Wage Determination: The Case of the United Mine Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 923-942, October.
    7. MaCurdy, Thomas E & Pencavel, John H, 1986. "Testing between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 3-39, June.
    8. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1976. "Econometric Studies of Labor Demand and Their Application to Policy Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 11(4), pages 507-525.
    9. David Card, 1983. "Cost-of-Living Escalators in Major Union Contracts," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(1), pages 34-48, October.
    10. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1995. "Labour Demand and the," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 620-634, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Diana & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2008. "Monetary Policy in the Presence of Asymmetric Wage Indexation," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 69-90, July.
    2. Christofides, Louis N. & Peng, Chen, 2006. "Contract duration and indexation in a period of real and nominal uncertainty," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 61-86, February.
    3. Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "Wage Inequality Changes in Brazil: Market Forces, Macroeconomic Instability and Labor Market Institutions (1981-1997)," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0215, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    4. Louis N. Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in Canadian Collective Bargaining Agreements," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 429-448, April.
    5. George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.
    6. Liam Graham & Dennis J. Snower, 2008. "Hyperbolic Discounting and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 427-448, March.
    7. James Cover & David Hoose, 2002. "Asymmetric wage indexation," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 30(1), pages 34-47, March.
    8. Leif Danziger & Shoshana Neuman, 2005. "Delays in Renewal of Labor Contracts: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 341-372, April.
    9. Paul Oyer, 2004. "Why Do Firms Use Incentives That Have No Incentive Effects?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1619-1650, August.
    10. Robert Rich & Joseph Tracy, 2004. "Uncertainty and Labor Contract Durations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 270-287, February.
    11. Louis Christofides & Amy Chen Peng, 2007. "Real Wage Chronologies," CESifo Working Paper Series 2096, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1984. "Macroeconomic analyses and microeconomic analyses of labor supply," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 117-156, January.
    13. Louis N. Christofides & Man Tuen Leung, 2003. "Nominal Wage Rigidity in Contract Data: A Parametric Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(280), pages 619-638, November.
    14. Amy Peng & Louis N. Christofides, 2009. "Real Wage Chronology," Working Papers 011, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
    15. Mukerji, Sujoy & Tallon, Jean-Marc, 2004. "Ambiguity aversion and the absence of wage indexation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 653-670, April.
    16. Louis Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2001. "Nominal Wage Rigidity: Non-Parametric Tests Based on Union Data for Canada," CESifo Working Paper Series 535, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Louis Christofides & Chen Peng, 2006. "Major Provisions of Labour Contracts and their Theoretical Coherence," CESifo Working Paper Series 1700, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Jayendu Patel & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1987. "Treasury Bill Futures as Hedges Against Inflation Risk," NBER Working Papers 2322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Maija Halonen-Akatwijuka & Oliver D. Hart, 2013. "More is Less: Why Parties May Deliberately Write Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 19001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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