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Ambiguity Aversion and the Absence of Wage Indexation

  • Sujoy Mukerji
  • Jean-Marc Tallon

This paper analyzes optimal wage contracting assuming agents are not subjective expected utility maximizers but are, instead, ambiguity (or uncertainty) averse decision makers who maximize Choquet expected utility. We show that such agents will choose not to include any indexation coverage in their wage contracts even when inflation is uncertain, unless the perceived inflation uncertainty is high enough. Significantly, the exercise does not presume any exogenous costs (e.g. transactions costs) of including indexation links.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 111.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:111
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  1. Jean-Marc Tallon, 1998. "Asymmetric Information, Nonadditive Expected Utility, and the Information Revealed by Prices: An Example," Post-Print halshs-00502491, HAL.
  2. Mukerji, S., 1995. "Understanding the nonadditive probability decision model," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9517, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  3. Robert J. Shiller, 1997. "Public Resistance to Indexation: A Puzzle," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 159-228.
  4. Sujoy Mukerji & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2004. "Ambiguity aversion and the absence of indexed debt," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00499352, HAL.
  5. Sujoy Mukerji & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2001. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Financial Markets," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00174539, HAL.
  6. Jovanovic, B. & Ueda, M., 1996. "Contracts and Money," Working Papers 96-23, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Lars Hansen & Thomas Sargent & Thomas Tallarini, . "Robust Permanent Income and Pricing," GSIA Working Papers 1997-51, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  8. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-87, May.
  9. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
  10. David Card, 1984. "An Empirical Model of Wage Indexation Provisions in Union Contracts," NBER Working Papers 1388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Daniel Ellsberg, 2000. "Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7605, David K. Levine.
  12. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
  13. 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 923-42, October.
  14. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1989. "Maxmin Expected Utility with Non-Unique Prior," Post-Print hal-00753237, HAL.
  15. Gray, Jo Anna, 1978. "On Indexation and Contract Length," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 1-18, February.
  16. Mukerji, S., 1997. "Ambiguity aversion and incompleteness of contractual form," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9715, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  17. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Wage indexation and macroeconomics stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 107-147, January.
  18. Holland, A Steven, 1995. "Inflation and Wage Indexation in the Postwar United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 172-76, February.
  19. Dow, James & Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro da Costa, 1992. "Uncertainty Aversion, Risk Aversion, and the Optimal Choice of Portfolio," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 197-204, January.
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