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Do Works Councils Inhibit Investment?

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  • John T. Addison
  • Thorsten Schank
  • Claus Schnabel
  • Joachim Wagner

Abstract

Theory suggests that firms confront a hold-up problem in dealing with workplace unionism: unions will appropriate a portion of the quasi-rents stemming from long-lived capital. As a result, firms may be expected to limit their exposure to rent-seeking by reducing investments. The U.S. evidence points clearly in this direction. The authors of this paper investigate whether the same is true for German works councils, the analogue of workplace unionism in that nation. Using establishment panel data for the years 1998-2003, they find no evidence that a works council's formation adversely affected investment or that its dissolution favorably affected investment.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 60 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
Pages: 187-203

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:60:y:2007:i:2:p:187-203

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References

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  1. Steve Bond & Dietmar Harhoff & John Van Reenen, 1999. "Investment, R&D and financial constraints in Britain and Germany," IFS Working Papers W99/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  4. Bond, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 2007. "Microeconometric Models of Investment and Employment," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 65 Elsevier.
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  12. Addison, John T. & Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2005. "Do Works Councils Inhibit Investment?," IZA Discussion Papers 1473, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  15. Addison, John T & Chilton, John B, 1998. "Self-Enforcing Union Contracts: Efficient Investment and Employment," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71(3), pages 349-69, July.
  16. Baldwin, Carliss Y, 1983. "Productivity and Labor Unions: An Application of the Theory of Self-Enforcing Contracts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(2), pages 155-85, April.
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  18. Hirsch, Barry T. & Prasad, Kislaya, 1995. "Wage-employment determination and a union tax on capital: Can theory and evidence be reconciled?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 61-71, April.
  19. Menezes-Filho, Naercio & Van Reenen, John, 2003. "Unions and Innovation: A Survey of the Theory and Empirical Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3792, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Addison, John T & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2001. "Work Councils in Germany: Their Effects on Establishment Performance," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 659-94, October.
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