Can Monopoly Unionism Explain Publicly Induced Retirement?

29 Pages Posted: 16 May 2000 Last revised: 17 Oct 2010

See all articles by Casey B. Mulligan

Casey B. Mulligan

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2000

Abstract

It has long been suggested that trade unions take actions and favor public policies that reduce the quantity of labor so that union members might enjoy greater labor incomes. Can this explain the prevalence of generous public pension programs inducing retirement? I suggest not, by formalizing the monopoly unionism model and showing how labor's interest in reducing the quantity of labor cannot explain why the old are induced to retire rather than discouraging work among workers of all ages. Discouraging work of a subset of union workers introduces allocative inefficiencies without promoting the objectives of the monopoly union. And, unless the old have a disproportionate influence within the union, union interests cannot explain why public pension programs are so generous.

Suggested Citation

Mulligan, Casey B., Can Monopoly Unionism Explain Publicly Induced Retirement? (April 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7680. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=228153

Casey B. Mulligan (Contact Author)

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