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Worker Directors: A German Product that Didn’t Export?

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  • John T. Addison

    (Queen’s University Management School and IZA)

  • Claus Schnabel

    (Lehrstuhl für Arbeitsmarkt- und Regionalpolitik, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and IZA)

Abstract

Despite its seeming lack of attractiveness to other countries, the German system of quasi-parity codetermination at company level has thus far held up fairly well. We recount the theoretical arguments for and against this form of codetermination, and survey the evolving empirical evidence as to its economic impact. Even if theory and the more recent empirical findings hold out the prospect that the apparatus of good corporate governance might include employee representation on company boards, caveats attach to the extent of representation and the composition of the worker side. But even if the entity has performed better than its external reputation might indicate, it is clearly in the process of adapting to change. In particular, the availability of alternative forms of corporate governance will increasingly shape the German institution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra in its series GEMF Working Papers with number 2009-02.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2009-02

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Keywords: codetermination; worker directors; board-level employee representation; firm performance; legal arbitrage; Germany;

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References

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  1. Kornelius Kraft & Jörg Stank, 2004. "Die Auswirkungen der gesetzlichen Mitbestimmung auf die Innova-tionsaktivität deutscher Unternehmen," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 124(3), pages 421-449.
  2. Addison, John T. & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "The course of research into the economic consequences of German works councils," Discussion Papers 22, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  3. Hausman, Jerry A. & Taylor, William E., 1981. "Panel data and unobservable individual effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 155-155, May.
  4. Barry T. Hirsch, 2004. "What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 415-456, July.
  5. Gérard Charreaux & Philippe Desbrières, 2001. "Corporate Governance: Stakeholder Value Versus Shareholder Value," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 107-128, June.
  6. Kraft, Kornelius, 1998. "The codetermined firm in oligopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 195-201, November.
  7. Kornelius Kraft & Marija Ugarkovic, 2006. "Gesetzliche Mitbestimmung und Kapitalrendite," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 226(5), pages 588-604, September.
  8. FitzRoy, Felix & Kraft, Kornelius, 2004. "Co-Determination, Efficiency, and Productivity," IZA Discussion Papers 1442, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Richard B. Freeman & Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Works Councils," NBER Chapters, in: Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations, pages 27-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Luis M. Granero, 2006. "Codetermination, R&D, and Employment," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(2), pages 309-328, June.
  11. Fauver, Larry & Fuerst, Michael E., 2006. "Does good corporate governance include employee representation? Evidence from German corporate boards," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 673-710, December.
  12. Barry T. Hirsch, 1991. "Labor Unions and the Economic Performance of Unions," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number luepf, December.
  13. Furubotn, Eirik G, 1988. "Codetermination and the Modern Theory of the Firm: A Property-Rights Analysis," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(2), pages 165-81, April.
  14. FitzRoy, Felix R & Kraft, Kornelius, 1993. " Economic Effects of Codetermination," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(3), pages 365-75.
  15. Kraft, Kornelius, 2001. "Codetermination as a strategic advantage?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 543-566, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Franziska Boneberg, 2011. "The Economic Consequences of One-third Co-determination in German Supervisory Boards, First Evidence for the Service Sector from a New Source of Enterprise Data," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 231(3), pages 440-457, June.
  2. Wagner, Joachim, 2009. "One-third Codetermination at Company Supervisory Boards and Firm Performance in German Manufacturing Industries: First Direct Evidence from a New Type of Enterprise Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4352, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Franziska Boneberg, 2010. "The Economic Consequences of one-third Codetermination in German Supervisory Boards: First Evidence for the Service Sector from a New Source of Enterprise Data," Working Paper Series in Economics 177, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  4. Hirsch, Boris & Mueller, Steffen, 2010. "Temporary agency work and the user firm's productivity: First evidence from German Panel Data," Discussion Papers 68, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.

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