IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Internal rent seeking, works councils, and optimal establishment size

  • Beckmann, Michael
  • Kräkel, Matthias

Using a microeconomic model and data from the Establishment Panel of the German Institute for Employment Research, we analyze the optimal establishment size against the background of rent-seeking workers and the influence of works councils. The theoretical part shows that establishment size has not only a discouragement effect on the level of individual rent seeking but also a quantity effect as the number of rent seekers increases. The interplay of both effects – together with technological considerations – determines whether the employer chooses an inefficiently small or large establishment size. Introduction of a works council restores efficient establishment size although it is purely used as rent-seeking device. Whether the employer benefits from a works council or not depends on the degree of contract incompleteness and the degree of worker coordination via a works council. The empirical part indicates dominance of the discouragement effect over the quantity effect in establishments without works council. As theoretically predicted, works councils are beneficial by disentangling rent-seeking and production issues, thus eliminating the influence of the two rent-seeking effects.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014292112000153
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 56 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 711-726

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:4:p:711-726
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. S. Black & L. Lynch, 1997. "How to compete: the impact of workplace practices and information technology on productivity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20298, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Warneryd, Karl, 2001. "Replicating contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 323-327, June.
  3. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten & Wang, Qingwei, 2006. "The Erosion of Union Membership in Germany: Determinants, Densities, Decompositions," IZA Discussion Papers 2193, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Konrad, Kai A., 2003. "Bidding in hierarchies
    [Das Bieten in Hierarchien]
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2003-27, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  5. Thomas Zwick, 2005. "Continuing Vocational Training Forms and Establishment Productivity in Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(2), pages 155-184, 05.
  6. Inderst, Roman & Mueller, Holger M & Wärneryd, Karl, 2002. "Distributional Conflict in Organisations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  8. Gibbons, Robert, 2005. "Four forma(lizable) theories of the firm?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 200-245, October.
  9. Fitzroy, Felix R & Kraft, Kornelius, 1987. "Efficiency and Internal Organization: Works Councils in West German Firms," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 54(216), pages 493-504, November.
  10. Kornelius Kraft & Julia Lang, 2008. "The Causes and Consequences of Adopting a Works Council," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 228(5+6), pages 512-532, December.
  11. 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.
  12. John T. Addison & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "Works Councils in the Production Process," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 126(2), pages 251-283.
  13. Verick, Sher, 2004. "Threshold Effects of Dismissal Protection Legislation in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 991, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Steffen Mueller, 2009. "The Productivity Effect of Non-Union Representation," Working Papers 074, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
  15. Joel Rogers & Wolfgang Streeck, 1995. "Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number roge95-1, May.
  16. 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.
  17. Hirsch, Barry T., 1990. "Market structure, union rent seeking, and firm profitability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 75-79, January.
  18. Matthias Kräkel, 2008. "On Adverse Selection of Technologies," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(2), pages 343-355, June.
  19. John Addison & Stanley Siebert & Joachim Wagner & Xiangdong Wei, 2000. "Worker Participation and Firm Performance: Evidence from Germany and Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(1), pages 7-48, 03.
  20. Konrad, Kai A., 2001. "Investment in the Absence of Property Rights: The Role of Incumbency Advantages," CEPR Discussion Papers 3050, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  22. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1987. "Cooperation, Harassment, and Involuntary Unemployment: An Insider-Outsider Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 196, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Nti, Kofi O, 1997. "Comparative Statics of Contests and Rent-Seeking Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 43-59, February.
  24. Richard B. Freeman & Edward P. Lazear, 1994. "An Economic Analysis of Works Councils," NBER Working Papers 4918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Addison, John T & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2001. "Work Councils in Germany: Their Effects on Establishment Performance," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 659-94, October.
  26. Zwick, Thomas, 2004. "Employee participation and productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 715-740, December.
  27. Awudu Abdulai & Hendrik Tietje, 2007. "Estimating technical efficiency under unobserved heterogeneity with stochastic frontier models: application to northern German dairy farms," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 34(3), pages 393-416, September.
  28. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1987. "Efficiency wages versus insiders and outsiders," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 407-416.
  29. Derik Burgert, 2006. "The Impact of German Job Protection Legislation on Job Creation in Small Establishments," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 52(2), pages 123-139.
  30. Lokshin, Michael & Beegle, Kathleen, 2006. "Forgone earnings from smoking : evidence for a developing country," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4018, The World Bank.
  31. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:41:i:2/3:p:305-326 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
  33. Michael Lokshin & Zurab Sajaia, 2004. "Maximum likelihood estimation of endogenous switching regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 282-289, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:4:p:711-726. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.