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Wage Bargaining and Induced Technical Change in a Linear Economy: Model and Application to the US (1963-2003)

Tavani, Daniele (2009): Wage Bargaining and Induced Technical Change in a Linear Economy: Model and Application to the US (1963-2003).

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Abstract

In a simple one-sector, two-class, fixed-proportions economy, wages are set through axiomatic bargaining a la Nash [1950]. As for choice of technology, firms choose the direction of factor augmentations to maximize the rate of unit cost reduction (Kennedy [1964], and more recently Funk [2002]). The aggregate environment resulting by self-interested decisions made by economic agents is described by a two-dimensional dynamical system in the employment rate and output/capital ratio. The economy converges cyclically to a long-run equilibrium involving a Harrod-neutral prole of technical change, a constant rate of employment of labor, and constant input shares. The type of oscillations predicted by the model matches the available data on the United States (1963-2003). Finally, institutional change, as captured by variations in workers' bargaining power, has a positive effect on the rate of output growth but a negative effect on employment.

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