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The bargaining position of low-skilled and high-skilled workers in a globalising world

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  • Dumont, Michel
  • Rayp, Glenn
  • Willemé, Peter

Abstract

This paper extends the assessment of the impact of globalisation and technological change on the bargaining power and preferences of employees, by taking worker heterogeneity into account. In contrast with previous studies, two separate unions – representing low-skilled and high-skilled workers respectively – are considered. Using Belgian firm-level data, labour bargaining power and relative wage preference have been estimated by skill level. When these estimates are subsequently regressed on a set of potential determinants, the bargaining power of low-skilled workers appears to fall with imports and offshoring, whereas the bargaining power of high-skilled workers is only positively affected by R&D activities. In addition, a significant effect of globalisation is found on the relative preference of unions for wages over employment, indicating that the effect of globalisation on the behaviour of labour unions is more encompassing than frequently assumed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 312-319

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:3:p:312-319

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

Related research

Keywords: Union bargaining; Worker heterogeneity; Globalisation; Technological change;

References

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Cited by:
  1. Bart Hertveldt & Bernhard Michel, 2013. "Offshoring and the Skill Structure of Labour Demand in Belgium," De Economist, Springer, Springer, vol. 161(4), pages 399-420, December.
  2. Nathalie Chusseau & Joël Hellier, 2012. "Globalization and Inequality: Where do we stand?," Working Papers 279, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  3. Palokangas, Tapio K., 2014. "The Political Economy of Labor Market Regulation with R&D," IZA Discussion Papers 8147, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Robert Anderton & Paul Hiebert, . "The Impact of Globalisation on the Euro Area Macroeconomy," Discussion Papers 09/14, University of Nottingham, GEP.

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