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Internal Rent Seeking, Works Councils, and Optimal Establishment Size

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  • Beckmann, Michael

    (University of Basel)

  • Kräkel, Matthias

Abstract

Using a microeconomic model and data from the Establishment Panel of the German Institute for Employment Research, we analyze the optimal establishment size against the background of rent-seeking workers and the influence of works councils. The theoretical part shows that establishment size has a discouragement effect on the level of individual rent seeking but also a quantity effect as the number of rent seekers increases. The interplay of both effects together with technological considerations determines whether the employer chooses an inefficiently small or large establishment size. Introduction of a works council restores efficient establishment size although it is purely used as rent-seeking device. Whether the employer benefits from a works council or not, depends on the degree of contract incompleteness and the degree of worker coordination via a works council. The empirical part indicates dominance of the discouragement effect over the quantity effect in establishments without works council. As theoretically predicted, works councils are beneficial by disentangling rent-seeking and production issues, thus eliminating the influence of the two rent-seeking effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Beckmann, Michael & Kräkel, Matthias, 2011. "Internal Rent Seeking, Works Councils, and Optimal Establishment Size," Working papers 2011/14, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2011/14
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    Cited by:

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    2. Brändle, Tobias & Baumann, Florian, 2013. "Union Bargaining and Intra-Industry Productivity Differentials: Theory and Evidence from Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79852, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Escalante, Edwar E., 2020. "Night watchers and terrorists," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 116-131.
    4. Ipsita Roy & Uwe Cantner & Wolfgang Gerstlberger, 2020. "Works councils, training activities and innovation: a study of German firms," International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 20(3/4), pages 269-294.
    5. Mario Bossler & Gregor Geis & Jens Stegmaier, 2018. "Comparing survey data with an official administrative population: assessing sample-selectivity in the IAB Establishment Panel," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 899-920, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    establishment size; rent-seeking; works council;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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