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Ihsaan Bassier

Ihsaan Bassier

Post-doctoral Research Economist

Centre for Economic Performance, LSE


About Me

Ihsaan is a research economist at CEP, working in the field of labour, mainly on firm wage-setting power and inequality.

Job Market paper

Collective Bargaining and Spillovers in Local Labour Markets

How does collective bargaining affect the broader wage structure? How are such spillovers transmitted? In imperfectly competitive labour markets, a rise in wages in the covered sector can affect the outside options of workers in the noncovered sector. I use a decade of wage agreements matched with worker-level data in South Africa to study the effects of sharp changes in collectively bargained wages in an event-study framework. Observed wages in covered firms rise sharply, and within-firm wage inequality declines. I use interfirm worker flows as a measure of distance to test for spillovers, which I motivate with a model where wage changes are transmitted via outside options to nearby firms. Bilateral worker flows correlate with a wide range of firm characteristics, capturing firm links which are poorly predicted by industry and location. I show that firms with higher flows to covered firms differentially increase wages more, with an implied cross-wage elasticity of about 0.8. This is higher than comparable estimates in the literature because I am able to identify the labour market segments empirically relevant to wage spillovers. Firm profit margins decline, as predicted by the model. A microdata simulation suggests that spillovers double the effects of collective bargaining agreements on the full wage distribution.

Download the paper.

Publications and papers


Bassier, I. (2023). Firms and inequality when unemployment is high. Journal of Development Economics, 161, 103029.
Bassier, I., Dube, A., & Naidu, S. (2022). Monopsony in movers: The elasticity of labor supply to firm wage policies. Journal of Human Resources, 57(S), S50-s86.
Bassier, I., Budlender, J., Zizzamia, R., Leibbrandt, M., & Ranchhod, V. (2021). Locked down and locked out: Repurposing social assistance as emergency relief to informal workers. World Development, 139, 105271.

Working papers

Bassier, I. (2022). Collective Bargaining and Spillovers in Local Labour Markets. Centre for Economic Performance Discussion Paper no. 1895.
Bassier, I., Manning, A., & Petrongolo, B. (2023). Vacancy Duration and Wages. Centre for Economic Performance Discussion Paper no. 1943.