Raising Wages to Deter Entry under Unionization


This paper investigates the strategic effects of new entry into product markets in a unionized oligopoly where entry and wage negotiations are sequential. When both a domestic incumbent and a foreign entrant hire unionized workers, the incumbent has incentives to raise the wage, because a higher wage strengthens the bargaining position of the union relative to the entrant at subsequent negotiations when entry occurs. Such a high wage offer may then discourage the potential entrant to enter the market. We also extend the model to allow the foreign entrant to supply the good to the domestic market either by foreign direct investment (FDI) or exports. Under FDI the entrant must negotiate with the domestic union over wages, while under exports it needs not. We show that surprisingly the incumbent can obtain higher profits when the entrant has both options of FDI and export than when it has only the former option.

Keywords: Foreign Direct Investment, Unionized Oligopoly, Wage Contracts, Entry Deterrence

JEL Classification Numbers: D43, F12

Graduate School of Economics
Osaka University

Laixun ZHAO
Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration
Kobe University
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe
657-8501 Japan
Phone: (81) 78 803 7036
Fax: (81) 78 803 7059