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Union Power and Product Market Competition: Evidence from the Airline Industry

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  • Damien J. Neven
  • Lars-Hendrik Röller
  • Zhentang Zhang

Abstract

In this paper we specify and estimate a structural model which links product market competition and union power. The model has a two-stage setting in which wages are determined through bargaining between management and unions in the first stage, with a price-setting market game to follow in the second stage. Using data for eight European airlines from 1976-1994, we provide evidence on price-cost margins and the measurement of market power in a model of rent sharing. In particular, we find that the welfare effects of rent sharing work mainly through reducing firms’ profits, rather than consumers surplus. As a consequence the static impact of unions is more on equity rather than efficiency. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Gewerkschaftsmacht und Produktmarkt-Wettbewerb: Evidenz aus der Luftfahrtindustrie) In diesem Beitrag wird ein strukturiertes Modell spezifiziert und geschätzt, das den Zusammenhang zwischen Produktmarkt-Wettbewerb und Gewerkschaftsmacht abbildet. Das Modell ist zweistufig. In der ersten Stufe werden im Rahmen von Verhandlungen zwischen Management und Gewerkschaften die Löhne bestimmt und auf der zweiten Stufe folgt ein Preissetzungsspiel. Anhand von Daten für acht europäische Fluggesellschaftenfür die Zeit von 1976 bis 1994 läßt sich empirisch ein Zusammenhang zwischen Preis-Kostenspanne und der Messung der Marktmacht in einem Modell des "rent sharing" feststellen. Dabei wird deutlich, daß sich Wohlfahrtseffekte des "rent sharing" hauptsächlich durch eine Verringerung der Unternehmensgewinne ergeben und nicht so sehr aus der Konsumentenrente. Daraus ergibt sich, daß der statische Einfluß der Gewerkschaften auch mehr auf Gleichheit als auf mehr Effizienz abzielt.

Suggested Citation

  • Damien J. Neven & Lars-Hendrik Röller & Zhentang Zhang, 1997. "Union Power and Product Market Competition: Evidence from the Airline Industry," CIG Working Papers FS IV 97-38, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  • Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:fsiv97-38
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    Cited by:

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    3. Heikki Kauppi & Erkki Koskela & Rune Stenbacka, 2004. "Equilibrium Unemployment and Capital Intensity Under Product and Labor Market Imperfections," CESifo Working Paper Series 1343, CESifo.
    4. Gundelfinger-Casar, Javier & Coto-Millán, Pablo, 2018. "Measuring the main determinants of tourism flows to the Canary Islands from mainland Spain," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 83-90.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    efficiency; union power; market power; rent sharing; airline industry;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation

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