International Oligopoly and Asymmetric Labour Market Institutions
Asymmetries in labour relations can have important effects on imperfectively competitive rivalries between firms. Such asymmetries are particularly striking in cross-country comparisons and are therefore of greatest interest in international markets. Using a simple duopoly model, we focus on two asymmetries. First, one firm may face a noncooperative union and second, institutional factors may allow one firm to commit itself to particular labour input before its rival sets output, giving it a natural Stackelberg leadership role. We examine the trade policy incentives resulting from these labour asymmetries, focusing on profit shifting tariffs, quotas and subsidies.