IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/zewdip/5241.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Human capital creates insider power

Author

Listed:
  • Muysken, Joan
  • Zwick, Thomas

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that insiders can erect barriers to entry and skim rents by sinking costs in human capital when labour markets are otherwise perfectly contestable. The sunk costs nature of human capital investments may result from the need to satisfy ever increasing specialised skill requirements in our society. When outsiders can not threat with market entry, insiders invest inefficiently in human capital such that their rent share is maximized. This inefficiency results from the hold-up problem that arises since workers are not residual claimants of the human capital rents. On the other hand, since insiders´ investments are negatively correlated with the number of workers, this may lead to higher than efficient investments nevertheless. When outsiders have an effective entry threat, insiders are forced to accept higher employment of outsiders and share the reduced rents with them. However, full employment is not necessarily reached and in any case investments are higher and social rent is lower than optimal.

Suggested Citation

  • Muysken, Joan & Zwick, Thomas, 1999. "Human capital creates insider power," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-25, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5241
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/24310/1/dp2599.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Franz, Wolfgang, 1990. "Hysteresis in Economic Relationships: An Overview," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 109-125.
    2. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
    3. William A. Darity & Arthur H. Goldsmith, 1996. "Social Psychology, Unemployment and Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 121-140, Winter.
    4. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 112-142, February.
    5. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," Working papers 427, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    6. Blanchflower, David G, 1991. "Fear, Unemployment and Pay Flexibility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(406), pages 483-496, May.
    7. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1994. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1350-1368, December.
    8. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Darity, William Jr., 1992. "Social psychology, unemployment exposure and equilibrium unemployment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 449-471, September.
    10. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1986. "Wage Setting, Unemployment, and Insider-Outsider Relations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 235-239, May.
    11. Hargreaves Heap, S P, 1980. "Choosing the Wrong 'Natural' Rate: Accelerating Inflation or Decelerating Employment and Growth?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(359), pages 611-620, September.
    12. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1992. "Loss of Skill During Unemployment and the Persistence of Employment Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1371-1391.
    13. Burgess, Simon M, 1992. "Asymmetric Employment Cycles in Britain: Evidence and an Explanation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(411), pages 279-290, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Zwick Thomas, 2001. "Supply of Human Capital in Times of Skill Biased Technological Change / Die Reaktion des Humankapitalangebots auf qualifikationsverzerrten technischen Fortschritt," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 221(3), pages 322-335, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Insider-Outsider; Human Capital; Rents; Unemployment; Hold-Up;

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5241. 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). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/zemande.html .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.