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Locational Competition versus Cooperation in Labor Markets: An Implicit Contract Reinterpretation


  • Michael BURDA
  • Antje MERTENS


The need for locational competition among labour markets arises when labour is immobile. At the same time market clearing under such conditions can lead to wage and income variability. In such cases demand for insurance against regional shocks arises, which can be provided by nationwide collective bargaining and other national institutions in the spirit of the implicit contract literature. In this interpretation, the desirability of locational competition depends on the nature of shocks which affect the regions. Real wage and other types of flexibility will be invoked by localities only in response to systematic shocks. We present evidence that West German and other European experiences are more consistent with an insurance contract interpretation, while US regional labour markets are characterized by high regional mobility, rendering insurance less relevant.
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Suggested Citation

  • Michael BURDA & Antje MERTENS, 1994. "Locational Competition versus Cooperation in Labor Markets: An Implicit Contract Reinterpretation," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1994,32, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:199432

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Manski, Charles F, 1990. "Nonparametric Bounds on Treatment Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 319-323, May.
    2. Manski, C.F., 1990. "The Selection Problem," Working papers 90-12, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    3. Manski, C.F. & Sandefur, G.D. & Mclanahan, S. & Powers, D., 1990. "Alternative Estimates Of The Effect Of Family Stucture During Adolescence On Hight School Graduation," Working papers 90-31, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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    Cited by:

    1. Demertzis, Maria & Hallett, Andrew Hughes, 1998. "Asymmetric transmission mechanisms and the rise in European unemployment: A case of structural differences or of policy failures?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 869-886, June.
    2. Büttner, Thiess, 1999. "Regional Stabilization by Fiscal Equalization? Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence from Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-23, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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