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Firm-Specific Skills, Wage Bargaining, and Efficiency

Author

Listed:
  • Mumcu, Ayşe

Abstract

We study the bargaining relationship between a firm and its incumbent worker who possesses firm-specific human capital. We show that, in the contract renewal stage, the worker's ability to use his firm-specific skills strategically increases his bargaining power vis-a-vis the firm. The firm can threaten to fire the worker and hire a new inexperienced worker, but this threat is not always credible. Even though the bargaining takes place in an environment with perfect information, the game has inefficient equilibria where delays occur in real time.

Suggested Citation

  • Mumcu, Ayşe, 1999. "Firm-Specific Skills, Wage Bargaining, and Efficiency," MPRA Paper 1913, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1913
    as

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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/1913/1/MPRA_paper_1913.pdf
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/2474/1/MPRA_paper_2474.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-261, October.
    3. William P. Rogerson, 1992. "Contractual Solutions to the Hold-Up Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 777-793.
    4. Tai-Yeong Chung, 1991. "Incomplete Contracts, Specific Investments, and Risk Sharing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(5), pages 1031-1042.
    5. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Bargaining and Markets," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000515, UCLA Department of Economics.
    6. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
    7. Lars A. Stole & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410.
    8. Busch, Lutz-Alexander & Wen, Quan, 1995. "Perfect Equilibria in Negotiation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 545-565, May.
    9. Asher Wolinsky, 2000. "A Theory of the Firm with Non-Binding Employment Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 875-910, July.
    10. Fernandez, Raquel & Glazer, Jacob, 1991. "Striking for a Bargain between Two Completely Informed Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 240-252, March.
    11. Erin Anderson & David C. Schmittlein, 1984. "Integration of the Sales Force: An Empirical Examination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 385-395, Autumn.
    12. Anat R. Admati & Motty Perry, 1987. "Strategic Delay in Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 345-364.
    13. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-837, September.
    14. Oliver E. Williamson & Michael L. Wachter & Jeffrey E. Harris, 1975. "Understanding the Employment Relation: The Analysis of Idiosyncratic Exchange," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(1), pages 250-278, Spring.
    15. Klein, Benjamin, 1988. "Vertical Integration as Organizational Ownership: The Fisher Body-General Motors Relationship Revisited," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 199-213, Spring.
    16. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1984. "Involuntary Unemployment as a Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1351-1364, November.
    17. Haller, Hans & Holden, Steinar, 1990. "A letter to the editor on wage bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 232-236, October.
    18. George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 1990. "Workers Versus Firms: Bargaining Over a Firm's Value," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 369-380.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bargaining; firm-specific skills;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory

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