Labour Unions, Public Policy and Economic Growth

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Collective bargaining is the main vehicle for labour worldwide to negotiate wages, benefits, retirement policies, training and other terms of working with management in both the public and private sectors. Labour economists have long been active in modelling the relations between collective bargaining agreements, labour markets and social welfare conditions. This book presents a theoretical model of unions which offers a unified treatment of the centralisation of bargaining, the credibility of labour contracts, the unionisation of labour markets and the relative bargaining power of the union. Tapio Palokangas develops the microfoundations of bargaining and examines collective bargaining interacting with public policy, investment and growth, and international trade and specialisation. In conclusion Professor Palokangas challenges the commonly held view that collective bargaining has a negative impact on economics welfare, and argues that with the existence of market failure, collective bargaining can be welfare enhancing.