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German Works Councils and The Anatomy of Wages

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  • John T. Addison

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Moore School of Business University of South Carolina, USA and The Rimini Centre for Economics Analysis, Rimini, Italy.)

  • Paulino Teixeira

    ()
    (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra, Potugal)

  • Thomas Zwick

    ()
    (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW),Mannheim, Germany)

Abstract

This paper provides the first comprehensive examination of the effect of German works councils on wages, using matched employer-employee data from the German LIAB for 2001. We find that works councils are associated with higher earnings: the wage premium is around 11 percent, and is higher under formal collective bargaining. This result persists after taking account of worker and establishment heterogeneity and the endogeneity of works council presence. Using quantile regressions, we further report that the works council premium is decreasing in the position of the worker in the wage distribution; and is higher for women than for men. Finally, the works council wage premium is associated with longer job tenure, which suggests that some of the premium is a noncompetitive rent. That said, it remains entirely possible that works council ÔvoiceÕ may dominate its distributive effects, at least insofar as the tenure result is concerned.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 13-07.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision: Jul 2007
Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:13-07

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Keywords: matched employer-employee data; rent seeking; tenure; wages; wage distribution; works councils; collective bargaining.;

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References

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  1. Bender, Stefan & Haas, Anette & Klose, Christoph, 2000. "IAB Employment Subsample 1975-1995 Opportunities for Analysis Provided by the Anonymised Subsample," IZA Discussion Papers 117, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Personnel Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121883, January.
  3. Hübler, Olaf & Jirjahn, Uwe, 2001. "Works Councils and Collective Bargaining in Germany: The Impact on Productivity and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 322, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. FitzRoy, Felix R & Kraft, Kornelius, 1985. "Unionization, Wages and Efficiency: Theories and Evidence from the U.S. and West Germany," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 537-54.
  6. Zwick, Thomas, 2004. "Employee participation and productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 715-740, December.
  7. Gartner, Hermann & Stephan, Gesine, 2004. "How collective contracts and works councils reduce the gender wage gap," IAB Discussion Paper 200407, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  8. Joan Muysken & Thomas Zwick, 2006. "Wage Divergence and Unemployment: The Impact of Wage Setting Power and Training Costs," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 126(1), pages 1-19.
  9. Heinze, Anja & Wolf, Elke, 2006. "Gender Earnings Gap in German Firms: The Impact of Firm Characteristics and Institutions," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-20, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  10. Horst Siebert, 1997. "Labor Market Rigidities: At the Root of Unemployment in Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 37-54, Summer.
  11. Gesine Stephan & Knut Gerlach, 2005. "Wage settlements and wage setting: results from a multi-level model," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(20), pages 2297-2306.
  12. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  13. Farber, Henry S, 1994. "The Analysis of Interfirm Worker Mobility," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(4), pages 554-93, October.
  14. Richard B. Freeman, 1980. "The Exit-Voice Tradeoff in the Labor Market: Unionism, Job Tenure, Quits," NBER Working Papers 0242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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