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Bargaining Regimes and Wage Dispersion


  • Gerlach Knut

    () (Institut für Arbeitsökonomie, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Königsworther Platz 1, D-30167 Hannover, Germany)

  • Stephan Gesine

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Bundesagentur für Arbeit, Regensburger Straße 106, D-90327 Nürnberg, Germany)


Collective wage contracts impose restrictions on wage-setting. We utilize German linked employer-employee data for blue-collar worker to compute the dispersion of wages and wage components within and across firms under three different wage-setting regimes: Establishments applying industry-wide collective contracts, establishments with firm-level contracts and uncovered establishments. The empirical analysis confirms a lower dispersion of wages and in particular “worker quality indices” for firms applying sectoral collective contracts compared to companies in the other two wage-setting regimes. Between the years 1990, 1995 and 2001 the dispersion of wages increases, and this is valid too for firms covered by industry-wide collective contracts. A sensitivity analysis demonstrates that the results retain their statistical significance and do not change qualitatively if we modify the minimum firm size (establishments with at least 50,100 and 250 employees) or take into account the endogeneity of tenure or self-selection of workers into bargaining regimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerlach Knut & Stephan Gesine, 2006. "Bargaining Regimes and Wage Dispersion," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 226(6), pages 629-645, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:226:y:2006:i:6:p:629-645

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    Cited by:

    1. Bernd Fitzenberger & Karsten Kohn & Alexander C. Lembcke, 2013. "Union Density and Varieties of Coverage: The Anatomy of Union Wage Effects in Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(1), pages 169-197, January.
    2. Fitzenberger Bernd & Sommerfeld Katrin, 2016. "A Sequential Decomposition of the Drop in Collective Bargaining Coverage," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 236(1), pages 37-69, February.
    3. John T. Addison & Arnd Kölling & Paulino Teixeira, 2014. "Changes in Bargaining Status and Intra-Plant Wage Dispersion in Germany. A Case of (Almost) Plus Ça Change?," GEMF Working Papers 2014-15, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    4. Gärtner, Debora & Grimm, Veronika & Lang, Julia & Stephan, Gesine, 2014. "Kollektive Lohnverhandlungen und der Gender Wage Gap : Befunde aus einer qualitativen Studie," IAB Discussion Paper 201414, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    5. Wolf Heinbach, 2007. "Wages in wage-setting regimes with opening clauses," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer;Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft - German Statistical Society, vol. 1(3), pages 233-245, December.
    6. Antonczyk, Dirk & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2010. "Rising wage inequality, the decline of collective bargaining, and the gender wage gap," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 835-847, October.
    7. Uwe Jirjahn, 2013. "Der Beitrag der Arbeitsmarktökonomik zur Erforschung von Gewerkschaften und Tarifvertragsbeziehungen in Deutschland," Research Papers in Economics 2013-03, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    8. Kohn, Karsten & Lembcke, Alexander C., 2007. "Wage Distributions by Bargaining Regime: Linked Employer-Employee Data Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 2849, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Teschner, Tatjana, 2009. "Der Einfluss der Tarifbindung auf Lohnhöhe und Lohnverteilung," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-431, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    10. Lutz Bellmann & Hans-Dieter Gerner & Olaf Hübler, 2014. "Effects of reciprocal concessions on employment and real capital," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(1), pages 494-509.
    11. Puhani Patrick A., 2008. "Relative Demand and Supply of Skills and Wage Rigidity in the United States, Britain, and Western Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(5-6), pages 573-585, October.
    12. Uwe Jirjahn, 2015. "Research on Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining in Germany: The Contribution of Labor Economics," Research Papers in Economics 2015-10, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    13. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:44:i:1/2:p:163-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Neubäumer, Renate, 2016. "Does Less Wage Compression Lead to Less Training in Germany? An Expansion of Acemoglu and Pischke's Model of Training in Imperfect Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 9813, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Teschner, Tatjana, 2009. "Der Einfluss des Lohnsetzungsregimes auf das geschlechtsspezifische Lohndifferenzial," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-432, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.


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