Is Price Competition More Efficient than Quantity Competition? A Reversal with Unionized Oligopolists

Is Price Competition More Efficient than Quantity Competition? A Reversal with Unionized... In the context of union-duopoly decentralized bargaining, we argue that, prior to the realization of any employment and production plans, firms and unions may collectively decide about their bargaining agenda. That is, whether they will subsequently negotiate about only wages (“Right-to-Manage”) or about both wages and employment (“Efficient Bargains”). We show that under price competition in the product market the equilibrium bargaining agendas always involve only wages. Under quantity competition, however, and provided that the union bargaining power is low enough, one firm/union pair agrees on Efficient Bargains while the other pair agrees on Right-to-Manage. Thus, if sufficient product differentiation among firms exists, then social welfare can be higher under quantity competition than under price competition; the role of unions is critical for this result. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Industrial Organization Springer Journals

Is Price Competition More Efficient than Quantity Competition? A Reversal with Unionized Oligopolists

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Economics; Industrial Organization; Microeconomics
ISSN
0889-938X
eISSN
1573-7160
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11151-016-9502-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the context of union-duopoly decentralized bargaining, we argue that, prior to the realization of any employment and production plans, firms and unions may collectively decide about their bargaining agenda. That is, whether they will subsequently negotiate about only wages (“Right-to-Manage”) or about both wages and employment (“Efficient Bargains”). We show that under price competition in the product market the equilibrium bargaining agendas always involve only wages. Under quantity competition, however, and provided that the union bargaining power is low enough, one firm/union pair agrees on Efficient Bargains while the other pair agrees on Right-to-Manage. Thus, if sufficient product differentiation among firms exists, then social welfare can be higher under quantity competition than under price competition; the role of unions is critical for this result.

Journal

Review of Industrial OrganizationSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 1, 2016

References

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