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Works council introductions: Do they reflect workers' voice?

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  • Oberfichtner, Michael
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    Abstract

    Using a large linked employer-employee dataset from Germany, the author investigates workers' decision to introduce a works council as an exit-voice consideration. Thereby, the author explores the collective voice face of introductions, while previous studies focus on the monopoly aspect. Controlling for unobserved plant heterogeneity, council introductions are more likely if workers have high plant-specific human capital or earn high wages, whereas no association between the labor market situation and introductions shows up. The findings on human capital and wages are consistent with the idea that workers trade off introducing a council against exit as well as with workers trying to protect an existing distribution of rents. Redoing the analysis for a sample of plants in which it is less relevant for workers to protect themselves against management decisions yields similar results supporting the voice interpretation. -- Mit einem umfangreichen kombinierten Betriebs-Beschäftigten-Datensatz für Deutschland betrachtet diese Arbeit die Entscheidung, einen Betriebsrat zu gründen, als ein Abwägen von Exit und Voice. Damit untersucht sie mögliche Voiceaspekte von Betriebsratsgründungen, während sich frühere Arbeiten auf Monopolaspekte konzentrieren. Bei Berücksichtigung unbeobachteter Heterogenität sind Betriebsratsgründungen wahrscheinlicher, wenn die Beschäftigten über hohes betriebsspezifisches Humankapital verfügen oder das Lohnniveau im Betrieb hoch ist. Es zeigt sich jedoch kein Zusammenhang mit der Arbeitsmarktsituation. Die Ergebnisse zu Löhnen und Humankapital sind sowohl mit einem Abwägen von Exit und Voice vereinbar als auch mit dem Versuch der Beschäftigten, eine bestehende Verteilung von Renten abzusichern. Bei einer getrennten Analyse für Betriebe, in denen es für Beschäftigte weniger relevant ist, sich gegen Entscheidungen der Unternehmensführung zu schützen, werden ähnliche Ergebnisse gefunden, was die Voiceinterpretation stützt.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 83.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:faulre:83

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    Web page: http://www.arbeitsmarkt.wiso.uni-erlangen.de/english-version/
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    Keywords: co-determination; works councils; works council introductions; workers' voice;

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    1. Steffen Mueller, 2012. "Works Councils and Establishment Productivity," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(4), pages 880-898, October.
    2. Holger Alda & Stefan Bender & Hermann Gartner, 2005. "European Data Watch: The linked employer-employee dataset created from the IAB establishment panel and the process-produced data of the IAB (LIAB)," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(2), pages 327-336.
    3. Gralla, Rafael & Kraft, Kornelius, 2012. "Separating Introduction Effects from Selectivity Effects: The Differences in Employment Patterns of Co-Determined Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 7022, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Addison, John T. & Bryson, Alex & Teixeira, Paulino & Pahnke, André & Bellmann, Lutz, 2009. "The Extent of Collective Bargaining and Workplace Representation: Transitions between States and their Determinants. A Comparative Analysis of Germany and Great Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 4502, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Uwe Jirjahn & Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "Works Councils and Learning: On the Dynamic Dimension of Codetermination," Working Papers 0116, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Nov 2010.
    6. Jung, Sven & Schnabel, Claus, 2009. "Paying more than necessary? The wage cushion in Germany," Discussion Papers 63, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    7. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "German Works Councils Old and New: Incidence, Coverage and Determinants," IZA Discussion Papers 495, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Birgit Schultz, 2006. "Mikrooekonometrische Evaluation der oekonomischen Wirkungen betrieblicher Mitbestimmung - Moeglichkeiten und Grenzen des Matching-Ansatzes," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 226(5), pages 519-536, September.
    9. Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1979. "The Two Faces of Unionism," NBER Working Papers 0364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Uwe Jirjahn, 2011. "Ökonomische Wirkungen der Mitbestimmung in Deutschland: Ein Update," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 131(1), pages 3-57.
    11. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
    12. Hirsch, Boris & Konietzko, Thorsten, 2013. "The effect of housework on wages in Germany : no impact at all," Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 46(2), pages 103-118.
    13. Michael Beckmann & Silvia Föhr & Matthias Kräkel, 2010. "Rent Seeking, Employment Security, and Works Councils: Theory and Evidence for Germany," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 62(1), pages 2-40, January.
    14. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "The reform of the German works constitution act: a critical assessment," Discussion Papers 16, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    15. Uwe Jirjahn, 2009. "The Introduction of Works Councils in German Establishments - Rent Seeking or Rent Protection?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(3), pages 521-545, 09.
    16. repec:nsr:niesrd:341 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Jens Mohrenweiser & Paul Marginson & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "What Triggers the Establishment of a Works Council?," Working Papers 0101, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Jul 2010.
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