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Keywords:labor contracts 

Journal Article

FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
What Can We Learn from Idiosyncratic Wage Changes?

I document six facts about wage changes. First, most pay revisions occur at yearly frequency, but a small proportion occur at idiosyncratic times. Second, idiosyncratic pay changes are larger and more dispersed than year-end pay changes and resemble more pay changes occurring at job-to-job transitions. Third, idiosyncratic pay changes are more common for workers with less experience and, forth, in firms higher on the job-ladder. Fifth, industries in which the incidence of idiosyncratic raises have risen have experienced greater declines in labor share. Sixth, industries in which more firms ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-055

Conference Paper
Indexation and contract length in unionized U.S. manufacturing


Early contract renegotiation: An analysis of U.S. labor contracts from 1970 to 1995

This paper examines the ex post flexibility of U.S. labor contracts during the 1970-95 period by investigating whether unanticipated changes in inflation increase the likelihood of a contract being renegotiated prior to its expiration. We find strong empirical support for this hypothesis. Specifically, our results indicate that renegotiations are triggered principally by large and infrequent price shocks of either sign. When combined with evidence that ex ante contract durations are shorter during episodes of increased inflation uncertainty, our results suggest that these contracts are ...
Staff Reports , Paper 521

Working Paper
When should labor contracts be nominal?

This paper proposes a theory of when labor contract should be nominal or, instead, indexed. We find that, contracts should be indexed if prices are difficult to forecast and nominal otherwise. We use a principal-agent model developed by Jovanovic and Ueda (1997), with moral hazard, renegotiation, and where a signal (the nominal value of the sales of the agent) is observed before renegotiation takes place. We show that their result, that the optimal contract is nominal when agents must choose pure strategies, is robust to the case where agents can choose mixed strategies in the sense that, for ...
Working Papers , Paper 603

Working Paper
When should labor contracts be nominal?

We propose a theory to explain the choice between nominal and indexed labor contracts. We find that contracts should be indexed if prices are difficult to forecast and nominal otherwise. Our analysis is based on a principal-agent model developed by Jovanovic and Ueda (1997) in which renegotiation can take place once the nominal value of the agent's output is observed. Their model assumes that agents use pure strategy, with the strong result that only nominal contracts can be written without being renegotiated. But, in reality, we do observe indexed contracts. We resolve this weakness of their ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 01-07

Pattern bargaining

Many unions in the United States have for several years engaged in what is known as pattern bargaining?a union determines a sequence for negotiations with firms within an industry where the agreement with the first firm becomes the take-it-or-leave-it offer by the union for all subsequent negotiations. In this paper, we show that pattern bargaining is preferred by a union to both simultaneous industrywide negotiations and sequential negotiations without a pattern. In recent years, unions have increasingly moved away from patterns that equalized wage rates across firms when these patterns did ...
Staff Report , Paper 220

Uncertainty and labor contract durations

This paper provides an empirical investigation into the relationship between ex ante U.S. labor contract durations and uncertainty over the period 1970 to 1995. We construct measures of inflation uncertainty as well as aggregate nominal and real uncertainty. The results not only corroborate previous findings of an inverse relationship between contract durations and inflation uncertainty, but also document that this relationship extends to both measures of aggregate uncertainty. We also explore the robustness of this relationship to various measures of inflation uncertainty that have appeared ...
Staff Reports , Paper 106

Working Paper
What are the short-run effects of increasing labor market flexibility?

This paper evaluates the short-run effects of introducing labor market flexibility to an economy characterized by large firing taxes. Different reforms are considered: 1) eliminating all firing taxes, 2) introducing flexible new contracts while retaining the firing taxes on workers employed previous to the reform, and 3) introducing temporary contracts. The paper finds that eliminating all firing taxes increases the unemployment rate much more in the short run than in the long run, that introducing new flexible contracts has similar effects as eliminating all firing taxes, and that ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-00-29

Does centralized collective bargaining lead to wage restraint? The case of Israel

Research Paper , Paper 8916


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