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Rent-sharing and collective wage contracts-evidence from German establishment-level data

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  • N. Guertzgen

Abstract

Using German establishment-level data, this article analyses whether wages respond to firm-specific profitability conditions. Particular emphasis is given to the question of whether the extent of rent-sharing varies with collective bargaining coverage. In this context, two conflicting hypotheses are tested. The first one asserts that unions exploit their bargaining power at the firm level and appropriate a larger share of rents than the bargaining parties in uncovered firms. The second one states that unions favour a compressed intra-industry wage structure and suppress the responsiveness of wages to firm-specific profitability conditions. The empirical analysis provides strong support for the second hypothesis. While Pooled Ordinary Least Squares (POLS) estimates yield positive estimates of the rent-sharing coefficient in covered establishments, dynamic panel data estimates accounting for unobserved heterogeneity and the endogeneity of rents point to a rent-sharing coefficient of zero.

Suggested Citation

  • N. Guertzgen, 2010. "Rent-sharing and collective wage contracts-evidence from German establishment-level data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(22), pages 2835-2854.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:22:p:2835-2854
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840801964708
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cardoso, Ana Rute & Portela, Miguel, 2005. "The Provision of Wage Insurance by the Firm: Evidence from a Longitudinal Matched Employer-Employee Dataset," IZA Discussion Papers 1865, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. David Margolis & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2000. "Do Firms Really Share Rents with Their Employees?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00367838, HAL.
    3. Margolis, D.N. & Salvanes, K.G., 2001. "Do Firms Really Share Rents with Their Workers?," Papers 11/2001, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
    4. Gürtzgen, Nicole, 2005. "Rent-sharing : Does the Bargaining Regime Make a Difference? Theory and Empirical Evidence," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-15, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tobias Brändle & Laszlo Goerke, 2018. "The one constant: a causal effect of collective bargaining on employment growth? Evidence from German linked‐employer‐employee data," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 65(5), pages 445-478, November.
    2. David Card & Jörg Heining & Patrick Kline, 2013. "Workplace Heterogeneity and the Rise of West German Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 967-1015.
    3. 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.
    4. David Card & Francesco Devicienti & Agata Maida, 2014. "Rent-sharing, Holdup, and Wages: Evidence from Matched Panel Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 84-111.
    5. Pandelis Mitsis, 2019. "The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Wages and Work in Cyprus," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 13(2), pages 72-101, December.
    6. Uwe Jirjahn, 2014. "Works Councils and Collective Bargaining in Germany: A Simple but Crucial Theoretical Extension," Research Papers in Economics 2014-13, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    7. Guy Navon & Ilan Tojerow, 2013. "Does Rent-sharing Profit Female and Male Workers? Evidence from Israeli Matched Employer–Employee Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 27(3), pages 331-349, September.

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