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

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Author Info

  • John T. Addison

    ( School of Management, Queen’s University Belfast (U.K.) and Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina (U.S.A))

  • Claus Schnabel

    ( Lehrstuhl für Arbeitsmarkt- und Regionalpolitik, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany))

Abstract

Despite its lack of attractiveness to other countries, the German system of quasi-parity codetermination at company level has held up remarkably well. We recount the theoretical arguments for and against codetermination and survey the empirical evidence on the effects of the institution, tracing the three phases of a still sparse literature. Recent findings hold out the prospect that good corporate governance might include employee representation by virtue of the monitoring function and the reduction in agency costs, while yet cautioning that the optimal level of representation is likely below parity. And although the German system may be better than its reputation among foreigners, it might have to adapt to globalization and the availability of alternative forms of corporate governance in the EU.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Professional Reports with number 03_09.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:rim:rimpre:03_09

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Keywords: codetermination; board-level employee representation; firm performance; Germany;

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References

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  1. Barry T. Hirsch, 2004. "What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 415-456, July.
  2. Kraft, Kornelius, 2001. "Codetermination as a strategic advantage?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 543-566, March.
  3. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2004. "The Course of Research into the Economic Consequences of German Works Councils," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 255-281, 06.
  4. Richard B. Freeman & Edward P. Lazear, 1994. "An Economic Analysis of Works Councils," NBER Working Papers 4918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Felix FitzRoy & Kornelius Kraft, 2005. "Co-determination, Efficiency and Productivity," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(2), pages 233-247, 06.
  6. Hausman, Jerry A & Taylor, William E, 1981. "Panel Data and Unobservable Individual Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1377-98, November.
  7. 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.
  8. FitzRoy, Felix R & Kraft, Kornelius, 1993. " Economic Effects of Codetermination," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(3), pages 365-75.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Kraft, Kornelius, 1998. "The codetermined firm in oligopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 195-201, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  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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