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Can insider power affect employment?

Author

Listed:
  • Díaz-Vázquez, Pilar
  • Snower, Dennis J.

Abstract

Do firms reduce employment when their insiders (established, incumbent employees) claim higher wages? The conventional answer in the theoretical literature is that insider power has no influence on employment, provided that the newly hired employees (entrants) receive their reservation wages. The reason given is that an increase in insider wages gives rise to a countervailing fall in reservation wages, leaving the present value of wage costs unchanged. Our analysis contradicts this conventional answer. We show that, in the context of a stochastic model of the labor market, an increase in insider wages promotes firing in recessions, while leaving hiring in booms unchanged. Thereby insider power reduces average employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Díaz-Vázquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 2003. "Can insider power affect employment?," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 2992, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkie:2992
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/2992/1/inspower-23oct02.PDF
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
    2. Manzini, Paola & Snower, Dennis J., 1996. "On the Foundations of Wage Bargaining," CEPR Discussion Papers 1514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Frank, Jeff & Malcomson, James M., 1994. "Trade unions and seniority employment rules," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1595-1611, October.
    4. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
    5. repec:exe:wpaper:96/16 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gottfries, Nils & Sjostrom, Tomas, 2000. " Insider Bargaining Power, Starting Wages and Involuntary Unemployment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(4), pages 669-688, December.
    7. Frank, Jeff, 1985. "Trade Union Efficiency and Overemployment with Seniority Wage Scales," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380), pages 1021-1034, December.
    8. Vetter, Henrik & Andersen, Torben M, 1994. "Do Turnover Costs Protect Insiders?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(422), pages 124-130, January.
    9. Assar Lindbeck & Dennis J. Snower, 2001. "Insiders versus Outsiders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 165-188, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brown, Alessio & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis, 2015. "An Incentive Theory Of Matching," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(03), pages 643-668, April.
    2. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis, 2006. "On-the-Job Learning and the Effects of Insider Power," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 317-341, June.
    3. Chen, Yu-Fu & Funke, Michael, 2008. "Product market competition, investment and employment-abundant versus job-poor growth: A real options perspective," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 218-238, March.
    4. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 2003. "On-the-Job Training, Firing Costs and Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 910, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Chen, Yu-Fu & Funke, Michael, 2009. "China's new Labour Contract Law: No harm to employment?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 558-572, September.
    6. Chen Yu-Fu & Funke Michael, 2009. "Threshold Effects of Dismissal Protection Regulation and the Emergence of Temporary Work Agencies," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(4), pages 1-29, September.
    7. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2006. "Threshold Effects of Dismissal Protection Regulations and Employment Dynamics," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 195, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    8. Diaz-Vazquez, Pilar & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "On-the-Job Training and the Effects of Insider Power," IZA Discussion Papers 586, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment; Wage determination; market power; insiders; hiring and firing costs;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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