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Can Monopoly Unionism Explain Publicly Induced Retirement?

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  • Casey B. Mulligan

Abstract

It has long been suggested that trade unions take actions and favor public policies that reduce the quantity of labor so that union members might enjoy greater labor incomes. Can this explain the prevalence of generous public pension programs inducing retirement? I suggest not, by formalizing the monopoly unionism model and showing how labor's interest in reducing the quantity of labor cannot explain why the old are induced to retire rather than discouraging work among workers of all ages. Discouraging work of a subset of union workers introduces allocative inefficiencies without promoting the objectives of the monopoly union. And, unless the old have a disproportionate influence within the union, union interests cannot explain why public pension programs are so generous.

Suggested Citation

  • Casey B. Mulligan, 2000. "Can Monopoly Unionism Explain Publicly Induced Retirement?," NBER Working Papers 7680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7680 Note: AG EFG LS PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Casey B Mulligan, 1999. "Gerontocracy, Retirement, and Social Security," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 154, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joydeep Bhattacharya & Casey B. Mulligan & Robert R. Reed, 2004. "Labor Market Search and Optimal Retirement Policy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(4), pages 560-571, October.
    2. Casey B. Mulligan, 2000. "Induced Retirement, Social Security, and the Pyramid Mirage," NBER Working Papers 7679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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