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The bargaining position of low-skilled and high-skilled workers in a globalising world

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  • Dumont, Michel
  • Rayp, Glenn
  • Willemé, Peter

Abstract

This paper extends the assessment of the impact of globalisation and technological change on the bargaining power and preferences of employees, by taking worker heterogeneity into account. In contrast with previous studies, two separate unions – representing low-skilled and high-skilled workers respectively – are considered. Using Belgian firm-level data, labour bargaining power and relative wage preference have been estimated by skill level. When these estimates are subsequently regressed on a set of potential determinants, the bargaining power of low-skilled workers appears to fall with imports and offshoring, whereas the bargaining power of high-skilled workers is only positively affected by R&D activities. In addition, a significant effect of globalisation is found on the relative preference of unions for wages over employment, indicating that the effect of globalisation on the behaviour of labour unions is more encompassing than frequently assumed.

Suggested Citation

  • Dumont, Michel & Rayp, Glenn & Willemé, Peter, 2012. "The bargaining position of low-skilled and high-skilled workers in a globalising world," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 312-319.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:3:p:312-319
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2012.02.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Cristina Fernández & Aitor Lacuesta & José Manuel Montero & Alberto Urtasun, 2015. "Heterogeneity of markups at the firm level and changes during the great recession: the case of spain," Working Papers 1536, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    2. Nathalie Chusseau & Joël Hellier, 2012. "Globalisation and Inequality: Where do we stand?," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 21(3-4), pages 7-34, November.
    3. Palokangas, Tapio K., 2014. "The Political Economy of Labor Market Regulation with R&D," IZA Discussion Papers 8147, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. repec:kap:iecepo:v:14:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10368-016-0371-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Cardullo, Gabriele & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2015. "Sunk capital, unions and the hold-up problem: Theory and evidence from cross-country sectoral data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 253-274.
    6. Robert Anderton & Paul Hiebert, "undated". "The Impact of Globalisation on the Euro Area Macroeconomy," Discussion Papers 09/14, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    7. Palokangas, Tapio K., 2017. "Labor Market Regulation, International Trade and Footloose Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 10468, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Bart Hertveldt & Bernhard Michel, 2013. "Offshoring and the Skill Structure of Labour Demand in Belgium," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(4), pages 399-420, December.
    9. Runar Brännlund & Jonas Nordström & Jesper Stage & Dick Svedin, 2016. "Foreign ownership and its effects on employment and wages: the case of Sweden," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-17, December.
    10. Lutz Arnold & Stefanie Trepl, 2015. "A North-South Trade Model of Offshoring and Unemployment," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(5), pages 999-1039, November.
    11. Palokangas, Tapio K., 2015. "The Welfare Effects of Globalization with Labor Market Regulation," IZA Discussion Papers 9412, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Matsui, Muneya & Yoshimi, Taiyo, 2015. "Macroeconomic dynamics in a model with heterogeneous wage contracts," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 72-80.
    13. repec:spr:izamig:v:8:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1186_s40176-017-0107-1 is not listed on IDEAS

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