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The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain

Robert Hall () and Paul Milgrom

No 11245, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: When a job-seeker and an employer meet, find a prospective surplus, and bargain over the wage, conditions in the outside labor market, including especially unemployment, may be irrelevant. The job-seeker's threat point in the bargain is to delay bargaining, not to terminate bargaining and resume search at other employers. Similarly, the employer's threat point is to delay bargaining, not to terminate it. Consequently, the outcome of the bargain depends on the relative costs of delay to the parties, not on the results of irrational threats to disclaim any bargain. In a model of the labor market that otherwise adopts all of the features of the standard Mortensen-Pissarides model, unemployment is much more sensitive to changes in productivity than in the standard model, because feedback through the wage is absent. We also present models where the wage bargain is in partial contact with conditions in the labor market.

JEL-codes: E24 E32 J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-lab and nep-ltv
Note: EFG LS
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (27)

Published as Hall, Robert E. and Paul R. Milgrom. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain." American Economic Review 98,4 (September 2008): 1653-1674.

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