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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 Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW) in its series IAW Discussion Papers with number 36.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iaw:iawdip:36

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

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Bernd Fitzenberger & Karsten Kohn & Alexander C. Lembcke, 2013. "Union Density and Varieties of Coverage: The Anatomy of Union Wage Effects in Germany," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(1), pages 169-197, January.
  2. Antonczyk, Dirk & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2010. "Rising Wage Inequality, the Decline of Collective Bargaining, and the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 4911, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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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