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International Oligopoly and Asymmetric Labour Market Institutions

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  • James A. Brander
  • Barbara J. Spencer

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1986. "International Oligopoly and Asymmetric Labour Market Institutions," NBER Working Papers 2038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2038
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1986. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 383-406.
    4. 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.
    5. Salop, Steven C & Scheffman, David T, 1983. "Raising Rivals' Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 267-271, May.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 1162-1181, December.
    8. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
    9. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-1050, July.
    10. Dixit, Avinash, 1984. "International Trade Policy for Oligopolistic Industries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376a), pages 1-16, Supplemen.
    11. 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.
    12. Gene M. Grossman, 1984. "International Competition and the Unionized Sector," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 17(3), pages 541-556, August.
    13. Brecher, Richard A., 1974. "Optimal commercial policy for a minimum-wage economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 139-149, May.
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