Lump-Sums, Profit Sharing, and the Labor Costs in the Union Sector
30 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2007 Last revised: 28 Mar 2010
Date Written: February 1991
This paper documents the increase in the use of lump-sum payments and profit sharing plans in union contracts in the 1980s, and evaluates the extent to which these innovations may have contributed to moderation in the growth of labor costs, and increased pay flexibility. We find evidence that lump-sum and profit sharing arrangements reduced labor cost growth at both the aggregate and firm level. But the evidence linking these plans to labor cost flexibility is mixed; although the evidence suggests that profit sharing plans may be associated with greater flexibility at the firm level, there is no evidence that lump-sum plans increase flexibility at either the firm or aggregate level.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation