Employment duration and resistance to wage reductions: Experimental evidence
One of the long-standing puzzles in economics is why wages do not fall sufficiently in recessions so as to avoid increases in unemployment. Put differently, if the competitive market wage declines, why don't employers simply force their employees to accept lower wages as well? As an alternative to reviewing statistical data, we have performed an experiment with a lower competitive wage in the second phase of an employment relationship that is known to both parties. The experiment casts two subjects in the highly stylized roles of employer and employee. Our hypothesis is that employers will not lower wages correspondingly and that employees will resist such wage cuts. We find at most mild evidence for resistance to wage declines. Instead, the experimental results can be more fruitfully interpreted in terms of an 'ultimatum game', in which surplus between employers and employees is shared. In this view, wages and their lack of decline are simply the mechanical tool for accomplishing this split.
|Date of creation:||1998|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
- repec:tpr:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:1:p:1-25 is not listed on IDEAS
- repec:tpr:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:2:p:437-59 is not listed on IDEAS
- Michele Boldrin & Michael Horvath, 1994.
"Labor Contracts and Business Cycles,"
1068, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Ching-to Albert Ma & Andrew M. Weiss, 1990.
"A Signaling Theory of Unemployment,"
NBER Working Papers
3565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Layard, R. & Nickell, S., 1991.
"Unemployment in the OECD Countries,"
Economics Series Working Papers
99130, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1985.
"Implicit Contracts: A Survey,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 1144-75, September.
- Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Riedl, Arno, 1996.
"Involuntary Unemployment and Non-compensating Wage Differentials in an Experimental Labour Market,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 106-21, January.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1996. "Involuntary unemployment and non-compensating wage differentials in an experimental labour market," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5917, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Ariel Rubinstein, 2010.
"Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
252, David K. Levine.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1993.
"Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/5927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Bewley, Truman F, 1995. "A Depressed Labor Market as Explained by Participants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 250-54, May.
- Nickell, S., 1991. "Wages, Unemployment and Population Change," Economics Series Working Papers 99122, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Ernst FEHR & Simon GÄCHTER & Georg KIRCHSTEIGER, 1994.
"Reciprocal Fairness and Noncompensating Wage Differentials,"
Vienna Economics Papers
vie9401, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 1996. "Reciprocal fairness and noncompensating wage differentials," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5921, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997.
"Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 1997. "Reciprocity as a contract enforcement device: experimental evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5911, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Ken Binmore & Ariel Rubinstein & Asher Wolinsky, 1986. "The Nash Bargaining Solution in Economic Modelling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(2), pages 176-188, Summer.
- Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-93.
- Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1992.
"Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias,"
NBER Working Papers
4202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:199874. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.