Relocation of production to countries with low labour costs has induced increased labour market flexibility, which has been praised as a silver bullet for economic growth and low unemployment. Within a unionised oligopoly framework, in which a multinational firm has the option to relocate its production to a foreign country, we analyse the welfare implications of both centralised and flexible wage-setting regimes. For very low foreign wages, wage flexibility leads to higher welfare than a rigid centralised regime. In contrast, for ‘intermediate’ wage levels in the foreign country, an industry-wide uniform wage leads to higher social welfare than flexible wages.
Goeddeke, Anna, et al. “Flexibility in wage setting under the threat of relocation.” LABOUR 32.1 (2018): 1-22.
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