IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Work Rules, Featherbedding, and Pareto-Optimal Union Management Bargaining

  • George E. Johnson

The recent literature on the economic behavior of unions is dominated by a controversy over whether or not bargaining is Pareto optimal. If unions care about employment as well as wages, efficient bargains between unions and management "should" involve both these variables rather than only wages. In fact, explicit bargaining over employment levels is virtually unknown. There is, however, implicit bargaining over employment in the form of rules concerning the labor/capital ratio, job assignment, work speeds, and the like.This paper examines a model of "semi-efficient" bargaining in which the unionand the firm bargain over wages and various types of work rules. The results are compared to the outcomes that are associated with fully efficient bargaining (i.e, over wages and the level of employment) and bargaining solely over wages. Of particular interest is the case in which the union and the firm mutually consent to "feather bedding" agreements (requiring the hiring of workers with zero marginal product). The major conclusion of the paper is that the outcome of collective bargaining is different in the case of negotiations over work rules and wages than in both the cases of fully efficient bargaining and of bargaining solely over wages. In general, however, the outcome of this "partially efficient" bargaining process is closer to the outcome of bargaining solely over wages than to that associated with fully efficient bargaining over both wages and employment.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1820.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1820.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jan 1986
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Johnson, George E, 1990. "Work Rules, Featherbedding, and Pareto-optimal Union-Management Bargaining," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S237-59, January.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1820
Note: LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Allen, Steven G, 1986. "Union Work Rules and Efficiency in the Building Trades," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 212-42, April.
  2. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  3. Alan Carruth & Andrew Oswald, 1984. "Miners' Wages in Post-War Britain: An Application of a Model of Trade Union Behavior," Working Papers 558, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Henry S. Farber, 1984. "The Analysis of Union Behavior," NBER Working Papers 1502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John M. Abowd, 1987. "Collective Bargaining and the Division of the Value of the Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 2137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Henry S. Farber, 1984. "The Analysis of Union Behavior," Working papers 355, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Duncan, Greg J & Stafford, Frank P, 1980. "Do Union Members Receive Compensating Wage Differentials?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 355-71, June.
  8. Orley Ashenfelter & James N. Brown, 1985. "Testing the Efficiency of Employment Contracts," Working Papers 573, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. 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 S3-S39, June.
  10. Ashenfelter, Orley & Johnson, George E, 1969. "Bargaining Theory, Trade Unions, and Industrial Strike Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 35-49, March.
  11. Tauman, Y & Weiss, Y, 1987. "Labor Unions and the Adoption of New Technology," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 477-501, October.
  12. Pencavel, John, 1985. " Wages and Employment under Trade Unionism: Microeconomic Models and Macroeconomic Applications," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 197-225.
  13. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-93.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1820. 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 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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.