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To Bind or Not to Bind Collectively? Decomposition of Bargained Wage Differences Using Counterfactual Distributions

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  • Wolf Dieter Heinbach

    ()

  • Markus Spindler

    ()

Abstract

Collective bargaining agreements still play an important role in the German wage setting system. Both existing theoretical and empirical studies find that collective bargaining leads to higher wages compared to individually agreed ones. However, the impact of collective bargaining on the wage level may be very different along the wage distribution. As unions aim at compressing the wage distribution, one might expect that for covered workers' wages in the lower part of the distribution workers' individual characteristics may be less important than the coverage by a collective contract. In contrast, the relative importance of workers' individual characteristics may rise in the upper part of the wage distribution, whereas the overall wage difference might decline. Using the newly available German Structure of Earnings Survey (GSES) 1995 and 2001, a cross-sectional linked employer-employee-dataset from German official statistics, this study analyses the difference between collectively and individually agreed wages using a Machado/Mata (2005) decomposition type technique.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany in its series Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim with number 294/2007.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hoh:hohdip:294

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Keywords: collective bargaining; wage structure; wage decomposition; quantile regression;

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  1. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
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  3. Hirsch, Barry, 2003. "What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?," IZA Discussion Papers 892, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  6. Helge Sanner, 2006. "Imperfect goods and labor markets, and the union wage gap," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 119-136, February.
  7. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  8. Wolf Heinbach, 2007. "Wages in wage-setting regimes with opening clauses," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 233-245, December.
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  10. Albrecht, James & van Vuuren, Aico & Vroman, Susan, 2004. "Decomposing the Gender Wage Gap in the Netherlands with Sample Selection Adjustments," IZA Discussion Papers 1400, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  12. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  13. Card, David, 1996. "The Effect of Unions on the Structure of Wages: A Longitudinal Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 957-79, July.
  14. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
  15. Erica L. Groshen, 1988. "Why do wages vary among employers?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 19-38.
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  17. Büttner, Thiess & Fitzenberger, Bernd, 1998. "Central wage bargaining and local wage flexibility: evidence from the entire wage distribution," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-39, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Bernd Fitzenberger & Karsten Kohn & Alexander C. Lembcke, 2008. "Union Density and Varieties of Coverage: The Anatomy of Union Wage Effects in Germany," CEP Discussion Papers dp0859, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Antonczyk, Dirk & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2010. "Rising wage inequality, the decline of collective bargaining, and the gender wage gap," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-014, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. John Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Jens Stephani & Lutz Bellmann, 2012. "Can German Unions Still Cut It?," GEMF Working Papers 2012-19, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  4. Addison, John T. & Teixeira, Paulino & Evers, Katalin & Bellmann, Lutz, 2013. "Indicative and Updated Estimates of the Collective Bargaining Premium in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 7474, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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