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Timing is Everything - The Labour Market Effects of Union Wage Bargaining

By Joerg Lingens


This paper analyses the labour market effects of union wage bargaining for different sequences of the employment choice and the wage bargain. The result that collective bargaining decreases (firm-level) employment in a right-to-manage setting hinges on the assumption that employment is chosen by the firm after the wage bargain ("ex-ante" bargaining). Turning this sequence upside down ("ex-post" bargaining), the firm uses employment choice as a strategic variable for the wage bargain. Employment will be equal to the competitive case and wages will be higher. Although we strictly assume right-to-manage, the timing of the bargain ensures an efficient contract.right-to-manage

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