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Works Councils and Firm Productivity in France

Author

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  • David Fairris

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  • Philippe Askenazy

Abstract

This paper utilizes establishment-level data to explore the impact of works councils on firm productivity in France. A variety of empirical techniques is employed, including fixed effects and regression discontinuity designs, to identify this impact. We estimate the works council effect on productivity in union and nonunion settings, and investigate the extent to which alternative forms of worker voice and information sharing might substitute for the works council's impact in production. We find no evidence of a positive impact of works councils on firm productivity in any of our results, and some limited evidence of a negative effect in some of the findings. There is no indication that estimated impacts on productivity vary with union status. However, a notable finding is that worker voice and information-sharing human resource practices are prevalent in French firms regardless of works council status, and are found to have positive and statistically significant effects on firm productivity.
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Suggested Citation

  • David Fairris & Philippe Askenazy, 2010. "Works Councils and Firm Productivity in France," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 209-229, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jlabre:v:31:y:2010:i:3:p:209-229
    DOI: 10.1007/s12122-010-9088-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    2. Richard B. Freeman & Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Works Councils," NBER Chapters,in: Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations, pages 27-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-475, March.
    5. Thesmar, David & Thoenig, Mathias, 2002. "Time Based Competition and Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3293, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Zwick, Thomas, 2004. "Employee participation and productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 715-740, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ces:ifodic:v:13:y:2016:i:4:p:19189887 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Uwe JIRJAHN & Stephen C. SMITH, 2018. "Nonunion Employee Representation: Theory And The German Experience With Mandated Works Councils," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(1), pages 201-233, March.
    3. Devicienti, Francesco & Manello, Alessandro & Vannoni, Davide, 2017. "Technical efficiency, unions and decentralized labor contracts," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 260(3), pages 1129-1141.
    4. Gilbert Cette & Nicolas Dromel & Rémy Lecat, 2013. "Labour Relations Quality and Productivity: An Empirical Analysis on French Firms," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 4(2).
    5. John T. Addison, 2016. "Collective bargaining systems and macroeconomic and microeconomic flexibility: the quest for appropriate institutional forms in advanced economies," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-53, December.
    6. Annette Berg & Yolanda Grift & Arjen Witteloostuijn, 2011. "Works Councils and Organizational Performance," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 136-156, June.
    7. VAN DEN BERG, Annette & GRIFT, Yolanda & VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen & BOONE, Christophe & VAN DER BREMPT, Olivier, 2013. "The effect of employee workplace representation on firm performance. A cross-country comparison within Europe," ACED Working Papers 2013016, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    8. VAN DEN BERG, Annette & GRIFT, Yolanda & VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen & BOONE, Christophe & VAN DER BREMPT, Olivier, 2013. "The effect of employee workplace representation on firm performance. A cross-country comparison within Europe," Working Papers 2013008, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    9. Katrin Oesingmann, 2016. "Workplace Representation in Europe: Works Councils and Their Economic Effects on Firms," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 13(4), pages 59-64, 02.
    10. Addison, John T. & Teixeira, Paulino, 2017. "Strikes, Employee Workplace Representation, Unionism, and Trust: Evidence from Cross-Country Data," IZA Discussion Papers 10575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. A. van den Berg & Y.K. Grift & A. van Witteloostuijn & C. Boone & O. van der Brempt, 2013. "The effect of employee workplace representation on firm performance: A cross-country comparison within Europe," Working Papers 13-05, Utrecht School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Works council; Productivity; Worker voice; J53; J58; J51;

    JEL classification:

    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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