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Unionisation structures, productivity and firm performance: New insights from a heterogeneous firm model

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  • Braun, Sebastian

Abstract

This paper introduces collective bargaining at the firm and at the sector level into the heterogeneous firm model of Melitz and Ottaviano (Melitz, M. J., Ottaviano, G. I. P., 2008. Market size, trade, and productivity. Review of Economic Studies 75 (1), 295-316). It then analyses how the two bargaining regimes change aggregate industry productivity and firm performance relative to a competitive labour market. While sector-level bargaining forces the least productive firms to exit and thus increases average productivity relative to the competitive benchmark, firm-level bargaining allows less productive firms to stay in the market and thus reduces average productivity. Sector-level bargaining also results in higher average output and profit levels than either firm-level bargaining or a competitive labour market. The paper also shows that the choice between sector- and firm-level bargaining can involve a trade-off between product variety and product prices: Not only the average price level but also product variety tends to be lower under sector-level bargaining than under firm-level bargaining.

Suggested Citation

  • Braun, Sebastian, 2011. "Unionisation structures, productivity and firm performance: New insights from a heterogeneous firm model," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 120-129, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:1:p:120-129
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cardullo, Gabriele & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2018. "Unions, Two-Tier Bargaining and Physical Capital Investment: Theory and Firm-Level Evidence from Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 12008, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Florian Baumann & Tobias Brändle, 2015. "We Want them all Covered! Collective Bargaining and Firm Heterogeneity. Theory and Evidence from Germany," IAW Discussion Papers 114, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    3. Dale-Olsen, Harald, 2019. "Creative Destruction, Social Security Uptake and Union Networks," IZA Discussion Papers 12546, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. de Pinto, Marco & Lingens, Jörg, 2019. "The impact of unionization costs when firm-selection matters," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 50-63.
    5. Brändle, Tobias & Baumann, Florian, 2013. "Union Bargaining and Intra-Industry Productivity Differentials: Theory and Evidence from Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79852, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Marco de Pinto & Jochen Michaelis, 2017. "Firm Selection and the Role of Union Heterogeneity," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201743, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    7. Ronald Bachmann & Thomas K. Bauer & Hanna Frings, 2014. "Minimum Wages as a Barrier to Entry: Evidence from Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 28(3), pages 338-357, September.
    8. repec:zbw:rwirep:0329 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Andrea Garnero & François Rycx & Isabelle Terraz, 2020. "Productivity and Wage Effects of Firm‐Level Collective Agreements: Evidence from Belgian Linked Panel Data," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 58(4), pages 936-972, December.
    10. Marco Pinto & Jochen Michaelis, 2014. "International Trade and Unemployment—the Worker-selection Effect," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 226-252, May.
    11. de Pinto, Marco & Michaelis, Jochen, 2019. "The labor market effects of trade union heterogeneity," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 60-72.
    12. May, Frank Christian & Münster, Johannes, 2013. "Centralized Bargaining in Press Wholesale," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79984, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Marco Pinto, 2016. "Redistribution of Trade Gains in the Presence of Firm and Worker Heterogeneity," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(9), pages 1360-1383, September.
    14. Cardullo, Gabriele & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2020. "A model of unions, two-tier bargaining and capital investment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    15. Marco de Pinto, 2015. "Firm-level versus Sector-level Trade Unions – The Role of Rent-Sharing Motives," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201508, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    16. Ronald Bachmann & Thomas K. Bauer & Hanna Kröger, 2012. "Minimum Wages as a Barrier to Entry – Evidence from Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0329, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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