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International Oligopoly and Asymmetric Labour Market Institutions

  • James A. Brander
  • Barbara J. Spencer

Asymmetries in labour relations can have important effects on imperfectively competitive rivalries between firms. Such asymmetries are particularly striking in cross-country comparisons and are therefore of greatest interest in international markets. Using a simple duopoly model, we focus on two asymmetries. First, one firm may face a noncooperative union and second, institutional factors may allow one firm to commit itself to particular labour input before its rival sets output, giving it a natural Stackelberg leadership role. We examine the trade policy incentives resulting from these labour asymmetries, focusing on profit shifting tariffs, quotas and subsidies.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2038.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2038.

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Date of creation: Oct 1986
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Publication status: published as Brander, J. and Spencer, B. "Unionized Oligopoly and International Trade Policy," Journal of International Economics, Vol. 24, No. 314, 1988, pp. 217-238.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2038
Note: ITI IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. B. Curtis Eaton & Richard G. Lipsey, 1980. "Exit Barriers are Entry Barriers: The Durability of Capital as a Barrier to Entry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 721-729, Autumn.
  2. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 83-100, February.
  3. Dixit, Avinash, 1979. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 140, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Feenstra, Robert C., 1980. "Monopsony distortions in an open economy: A theoretical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 213-235, May.
  5. James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1983. "Strategic Commitment with R&D: The Symmetric Case," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 225-235, Spring.
  6. Gene M. Grossman, 1982. "International Competition and the Unionized Sector," NBER Working Papers 0899, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sampson, Anthony A, 1983. "Employment Policy in a Model with a Rational Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(37), pages 297-311, June.
  8. Dertouzos, James N & Pencavel, John H, 1981. "Wage and Employment Determination under Trade Unionism: The International Typographical Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1162-81, December.
  9. Dixit, Avinash, 1984. "International Trade Policy for Oligopolistic Industries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376a), pages 1-16, Supplemen.
  10. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-50, July.
  11. Brecher, Richard A., 1974. "Optimal commercial policy for a minimum-wage economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 139-149, May.
  12. Salop, Steven C & Scheffman, David T, 1983. "Raising Rivals' Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 267-71, May.
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