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Bargaining (De)centralization, Macroeconomic Performance and Control over the Employment Relationship

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  • Franz Traxler

Abstract

Based on data for 20 OECD countries, this paper analyses the effect of bargaining centralization on performance and control over the employment relationship. Rejecting both the corporatist thesis and the hump-shape thesis, the paper finds that performance either increases or decreases with centralization, depending on the ability of the higher level to bind lower levels. There is a clear effect on control in that bargaining coverage significantly declines with decentralization. Employers can therefore expect to extend management prerogatives, rather than improve performance, when enforcing decentralization. Hence the literature on bargaining structures when focusing on performance has lost sight of their contested nature. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Franz Traxler, 2003. "Bargaining (De)centralization, Macroeconomic Performance and Control over the Employment Relationship," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 41(1), pages 1-27, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:41:y:2003:i:1:p:1-27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lindbeck, A & Snower, D-J, 1996. "Centralized Bargaining, Multi-Tasking, and Work Incentives," Papers 620, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alfonso Arpaia & Gilles Mourre, 2012. "Institutions And Performance In European Labour Markets: Taking A Fresh Look At Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 1-41, February.
    2. repec:wfo:wstudy:47406 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Andréasson, Hannes, 2014. "The effect of decentralized wage bargaining on the structure of wages and firm performance," Ratio Working Papers 241, The Ratio Institute.
    4. Berthold, Norbert & Gründler, Klaus, 2011. "Nation size and unemployment," Discussion Paper Series 116, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    5. Karl Aiginger & Thomas Horvath & Helmut Mahringer, 2012. "Why Labor Market Response Differed in the Great Recession: The Impact of Institutions and Policy," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 3, pages 1-19, September.
    6. Markus Leibrecht & Silvia Rocha-Akis, 2014. "Social Partnership and Macroeconomic Performance," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 47406, August.
    7. Schnabel, Claus, 2006. "Verbetrieblichung der Lohnfindung und der Festlegung von Arbeitsbedingungen," Arbeitspapiere 118, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Düsseldorf.
    8. repec:bla:indrel:v:48:y:2017:i:1:p:22-41 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Franz Traxler & Bernd Brandl, 2011. "The Economic Impact of Collective Bargaining Coverage," Chapters,in: The Role of Collective Bargaining in the Global Economy, chapter 9 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & Seppo Honkapohja & John Kay & Willi Leibfritz & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Xavier Vives, 2004. "Pay-setting Systems in Europe: On-going Development and Possible Reforms," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 61-83, October.
    11. repec:ces:ifodic:v:1:y:2003:i:2:p:14567948 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Paul Jonker-Hoffrén, 2013. "The influence of internal union factions on union renewal strategies: the case of the Finnish Paper Workers' Union," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 276-295, May.
    13. Schnabel, Claus & Zagelmeyer, Stefan & Kohaut, Susanne, 2005. "Collective bargaining structure and its determinants : an empirical analysis with British and German establishment data," IAB Discussion Paper 200516, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

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