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Collective Bargaining and Wage Dispersion in Europe

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  • Carlo Dell’Aringa
  • Laura Pagani

Abstract

The level at which collective bargaining takes place is usually considered important in determining wage levels and wage inequalities. Two different situations are considered: a first in which bargaining is only ‘multi‐employer’, and a second in which it is ‘multi‐level’, in the sense that workers can be covered by both a ‘multi‐employer’ and a ‘single‐employer’ contract at the same time. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the impact of these different institutional settings on pay dispersion. The study is carried out using the European Structure of Earnings Survey, which is a large dataset containing detailed matched employer–employee information for the year 1995. The countries analysed are Italy, Belgium and Spain. The empirical results generally show that wages of workers covered by only a ‘multi‐employer’ contract are no more compressed than those of workers covered by both ‘multi‐employer’ and ‘single‐employer’ contracts. This implies that where workers are not covered by single‐employer bargaining, they receive wage supplements paid unilaterally by their employers.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Dell’Aringa & Laura Pagani, 2007. "Collective Bargaining and Wage Dispersion in Europe," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(1), pages 29-54, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:45:y:2007:i:1:p:29-54
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8543.2007.00601.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Plasman, Robert & Rusinek, Michael & Rycx, Francois, 2006. "Wages and the Bargaining Regime under Multi-level Bargaining: Belgium, Denmark and Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 1990, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Cardoso, Ana Rute & Portugal, Pedro, 2003. "Bargained Wages, Wage Drift and the Design of the Wage Setting System," IZA Discussion Papers 914, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Richard Freeman, 2005. "Labour market institutions without blinders: The debate over flexibility and labour market performance," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 129-145.
    4. Toke Aidt & Zafiris Tzannatos, 2002. "Unions and Collective Bargaining : Economic Effects in a Global Environment," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15241.
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