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Does internationalization affect union bargaining power? An empirical study for five EU countries


  • Michel Dumont
  • Glenn Rayp
  • Peter Willemé


In this paper, we assess the impact of international trade on union bargaining power in five EU countries, using a two-step estimation procedure. In the first step, we use firm-level data to estimate union bargaining power at sector level within a production function framework. We simultaneously test for the bargaining regime and estimate, rather than impose, union preferences. We find that a labour-hoarding regime is clearly favoured over an efficient bargaining or a right-to-manage framework. Overall, unions appear to be wage-oriented. In the second step, the bargaining power estimates are regressed on variables reflecting the level of foreign competitiveness of OECD countries and Newly Industrialized Countries (NIC), as well as on a number of other potential determinants of union power. We find a significant negative impact of internationalization on union bargaining power that is comparable in NIC and OECD countries. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Michel Dumont & Glenn Rayp & Peter Willemé, 2006. "Does internationalization affect union bargaining power? An empirical study for five EU countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 77-102, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:58:y:2006:i:1:p:77-102

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