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Unionisation structures, productivity and firm performance: New insights from a heterogeneous firm model

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  • Braun, Sebastian

Abstract

This paper introduces collective bargaining at the firm and at the sector level into the heterogeneous firm model of Melitz and Ottaviano (Melitz, M. J., Ottaviano, G. I. P., 2008. Market size, trade, and productivity. Review of Economic Studies 75 (1), 295-316). It then analyses how the two bargaining regimes change aggregate industry productivity and firm performance relative to a competitive labour market. While sector-level bargaining forces the least productive firms to exit and thus increases average productivity relative to the competitive benchmark, firm-level bargaining allows less productive firms to stay in the market and thus reduces average productivity. Sector-level bargaining also results in higher average output and profit levels than either firm-level bargaining or a competitive labour market. The paper also shows that the choice between sector- and firm-level bargaining can involve a trade-off between product variety and product prices: Not only the average price level but also product variety tends to be lower under sector-level bargaining than under firm-level bargaining.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 120-129

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:1:p:120-129

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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Keywords: Trade unions Heterogeneous firms Productivity Firm performance;

References

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  1. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Dowrick, Steve & Spencer, Barbara J, 1994. "Union Attitudes to Labor-Saving Innovation: When Are Unions Luddites?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 316-44, April.
  3. Barry T. Hirsch, 2004. "What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 415-456, July.
  4. Hibbs, Douglas A, Jr & Locking, Hakan, 2000. "Wage Dispersion and Productive Efficiency: Evidence for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 755-82, October.
  5. Moene, Karl Ove & Wallerstein, Michael, 1997. "Pay Inequality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 403-30, July.
  6. Kjell Lommerud & Frode Meland & Odd Rune Straume, 2004. "Globalisation And Union Opposition To Technological Change," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 49, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, . "Worker-Specific Effects of Globalisation," Discussion Papers 09/23, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  8. DEL GATTO, Massimo & MION, Giordano & OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco I.P., 2006. "Trade integration, firm selection and the costs of non-Europe," CORE Discussion Papers 2006061, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Eckel, Carsten & Egger, Hartmut, 2009. "Wage bargaining and multinational firms," Munich Reprints in Economics 20528, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Behrens, Kristian & Mion, Giordano & Murata, Yasusada & Südekum, Jens, 2009. "Trade, wages, and productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 7369, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Haucap, Justus & Wey, Christian, 2003. "Unionisation Structures and Innovation Incentives," Working Paper 21/2003, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
  12. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2005. "Market Size Matters," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-25, 03.
  13. Tauman, Y & Weiss, Y, 1987. "Labor Unions and the Adoption of New Technology," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 477-501, October.
  14. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Alexandre Janiak, 2008. "Welfare in models of trade with heterogeneous firms," Documentos de Trabajo 253, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  16. Behrens, Kristian & Murata, Yasusada, 2007. "General equilibrium models of monopolistic competition: A new approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 776-787, September.
  17. Ulph, A. M. & Ulph, D. T., 1994. "Labour markets and innovation: Ex-post bargaining," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 195-210, January.
  18. Ulph, Alistair & Ulph, David, 2001. " Strategic Innovation with Complete and Incomplete Labour Market Contracts," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(2), pages 265-82, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. May, Frank Christian & Münster, Johannes, 2013. "Centralized Bargaining in Press Wholesale," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79984, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. Ronald Bachmann & Thomas K. Bauer & Hanna Kröger, 2012. "Minimum Wages as a Barrier to Entry – Evidence from Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0329, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  3. Brändle, Tobias & Baumann, Florian, 2013. "Union Bargaining and Intra-Industry Productivity Differentials: Theory and Evidence from Germany," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79852, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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