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Competition, Work Rules and Productivity

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  • Benjamin Bridgman

    (Bureau of Economic Analysis)

Abstract

More competitive markets are associated with higher productivity. However, changes in competition complicate productivity measurement since changing mark-ups may shift factor shares. This paper examines productivity measurement in markets with market power and restrictive work rules: rules that induce wages to be paid for non-productive labor hours. It develops a theoretical model to explain why workers would want restrictive work rules and how competition leads to their reduction. I model a monopoly firm whose workers dictate wages and work rules. Work rules allow workers to maintain both high levels of employment and wages. Competition reduce work rules and increase productivity by lowering mark-ups. The theoretical findings are consistent with the empirical literature on the impact of increasing competitive pressure on productivity.

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  • Benjamin Bridgman, 2011. "Competition, Work Rules and Productivity," 2011 Meeting Papers 289, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:289
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Labor Unions and the Rust Belt
      by afinetheorem in A Fine Theorem on 2014-11-05 03:46:39

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    Cited by:

    1. Klaus Desmet & Stephen Parente, 2014. "Resistance to Technology Adoption: The Rise and Decline of Guilds," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(3), pages 437-458, July.
    2. Jeremy Greenwood & David Weiss, 2013. "Mining Surplus: Modeling James A. Schmitz's Link Between Competition and Productivity," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 22, Economie d'Avant Garde.
    3. Bridgman, Benjamin & Qi, Shi & Schmitz, James A., 2015. "Cartels Destroy Productivity: Evidence from the New Deal Sugar Manufacturing Cartel, 1934-74," Staff Report 519, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    4. Comino, Stefano & Galasso, Alberto & Graziano, Clara, 2017. "The Diffusion of New Institutions: Evidence from Renaissance Venice's Patent System," CEPR Discussion Papers 12102, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Stefano Comino & Alberto Galasso & Clara Graziano, 2017. "The Diffusion of New Institutions: Evidence from Renaissance Venice's Patent System," NBER Working Papers 24118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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