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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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File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper111.pdf
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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
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:111
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  1. Boyan Jovanovic & Masako Ueda, 1996. "Contracts and Money," NBER Working Papers 5637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Mukerji, Sujoy & Tallon, Jean-Marc, 2001. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Financial Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 883-904, October.
  4. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  5. Sujoy Mukerji, 1996. "Understanding the nonadditive probability decision model (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 23-46.
  6. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
  7. Gray, Jo Anna, 1978. "On Indexation and Contract Length," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 1-18, February.
  8. Sujoy Mukerji & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2004. "Ambiguity aversion and the absence of indexed debt," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 665-685, October.
  9. 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.
  10. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-87, May.
  11. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent & Thomas D. Tallarini Jr., 1997. "Robust Permanent Income and Pricing," Levine's Working Paper Archive 596, David K. Levine.
  12. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Wage indexation and macroeconomics stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 107-147, January.
  13. Daniel Ellsberg, 2000. "Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7605, David K. Levine.
  14. 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.
  15. Tallon, Jean-Marc, 1998. "Asymmetric Information, Nonadditive Expected Utility, and the Information Revealed by Prices: An Example," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 329-42, May.
  16. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Card, David, 1986. "An Empirical Model of Wage Indexation Provisions in Union Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S144-75, June.
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