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Endogenous distortions in product and labor markets

Author

Listed:
  • Rama, Martin
  • Tabellini, Guido

Abstract

The authors use the common agency approach to analyze the joint determination of product and labor market distortions in a small (developing) open economy. Capital owners and union members lobby the government on tariffs and minimum wages, while factors of production in agriculture (the informal sector) are not organized. The government cares about social welfare, but also values the contributions (monetary or else) made by organized groups. The authors show that product and labor market distortions move in the same direction in response to changes in the relevant economic and political parameters, and that the level of those distortions is not modified by social pacts between capital and labor. They also show that conditionality by foreign agencies should target product market distortions, not labor market distortions. Labor market distortions ought not to be targeted because they are second best: they are the optimal response to the product market distortions. Labor market distortions are likely to adjust in the desired direction once product market distortions are removed or diminished.

Suggested Citation

  • Rama, Martin & Tabellini, Guido, 1995. "Endogenous distortions in product and labor markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1413, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1413
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    2. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-942, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe Aghion & Robin Burgess & Stephen J. Redding & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2008. "The Unequal Effects of Liberalization: Evidence from Dismantling the License Raj in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1397-1412, September.
    2. Douglas Marcouiller, 1995. "Putting in politics: A review of economic models with endogenous determination of policy," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 37-51, September.
    3. Rama, Martin & Tabellim, Guido, 1998. "Lobbying by capital and labor over trade and labor market policies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1295-1316, July.
    4. Gil S. Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2003. "Political culture and monopoly price determination," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(1), pages 1-19, August.

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