IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Oligopsony and the Distribution of Wages

  • V. Bhaskar

    (University of Essex)

  • Ted To

    (University of Warwick)

A number of theories (search and efficiency wages) have been developed, in part, to explain why identically able workers are often paid different wages. However, when there is a minimum wage, they do not explain the resulting ``spike" in the wage distribution. Our model's predictions are consistent with this evidence. We assume that workers are equally able but have heterogeneous preferences for non-wage characteristics, while employers have heterogeneous productivity characteristics. This results in a model of labor market oligopsony where ``inside'' and ``outside'' forces interact, producing wage dispersion as well as a spike at the minimum wage.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 9903003.

in new window

Date of creation: 18 Mar 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:9903003
Note: Type of Document - LaTex; prepared on IBM PC; to print on any;
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Pugel, Thomas A, 1980. "Profitability, Concentration and the Interindustry Variation in Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 248-53, May.
  2. Jeremy I. Bulow & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy, Discrimination and Keynesian Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nickell, Stephen & Wadhwani, Sushil B, 1989. "Insider Forces and Wage Determination," CEPR Discussion Papers 310, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 235-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sullivan, Daniel, 1989. "Monopsony Power in the Market for Nurses," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages S135-78, October.
  6. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:1:p:227-51 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Ramaswamy, Ramana & Rowthorn, Robert E, 1991. "Efficiency Wages and Wage Dispersion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(232), pages 501-14, November.
  8. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," NBER Working Papers 2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hamilton, Jonathan & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Zenou, Yves, 2000. "Wage Competition with Heterogeneous Workers and Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 453-72, July.
  10. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  11. McKinley Blackburn & David Neumark, 1991. "Unobserved Ability, Efficiency Wages, and Interindustry Wage Differentials," NBER Working Papers 3857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alan B. Krueger & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Reflections on the Inter-Industry Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 1968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  15. John M. Abowd & Thomas Lemieux, 1991. "The Effects of Product Market Competition on Collective Bargaining Agreements: The Case of Foreign Competition in Canada," NBER Working Papers 3808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz, 1989. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," NBER Working Papers 3182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1974. "Equilibrium Wage Distributions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 375, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  18. Bhaskar, V & To, Ted, 1999. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 190-203, April.
  19. Dolado, Juan J. & Felgueroso, Florentino & Jimeno, Juan F., 1997. "The effects of minimum bargained wages on earnings: Evidence from Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 713-721, April.
  20. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1987. "Inter-Industry Wage Differences and Theories of Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 2271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. William M. Boal & Michael R. Ransom, 1997. "Monopsony in the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 86-112, March.
  22. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Peter Sanfey, 1992. "Wages, Profits and Rent-Sharing," NBER Working Papers 4222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  24. Jean Baldwin Grossman, 1983. "The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Other Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 359-378.
  25. Salop, Steven C, 1979. "A Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 117-25, March.
  26. Albrecht, James W & Vroman, Susan B, 1998. "Nash Equilibrium Efficiency Wage Distributions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 183-203, February.
  27. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:3:p:869-84 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:9903003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.