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Wage Distributions by Bargaining Regime: Linked Employer-Employee Data Evidence from Germany

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  • Karsten Kohn
  • Alexander C. Lembcke

Abstract

Using linked employer-employee data from the German Structure of Earnings Survey 2001, this paper provides a comprehensive picture of the wage structure in three wage-setting regimes prevalent in the German system of industrial relations. We analyze wage distributions for various labor market subgroups by means of kernel density estimation, variance decompositions, and individual and firm-level wage regressions. Unions' impact through collective and firm-level bargaining mainly works towards a higher wage level and reduced overall and residual wage dispersion. Yet observed effects are considerably heterogeneous across different labor market groups. There is no clear evidence for wage floors formed by collectively bargained low wage brackets which would operate as minimum wages for different groups of workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Karsten Kohn & Alexander C. Lembcke, 2007. "Wage Distributions by Bargaining Regime: Linked Employer-Employee Data Evidence from Germany," CEP Discussion Papers dp0813, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0813
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wolf Dieter Heinbach, 2006. "Bargained Wages in Decentralized Wage-Setting Regimes," IAW Discussion Papers 26, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    2. Addison, John T. & Teixeira, Paulino & Zwick, Thomas, 2006. "Works Councils and the Anatomy of Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 2474, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten, 2006. "Gleicher Lohn für gleiche Arbeit? Zum Zusammenhang zwischen Gewerkschaftsmitgliedschaft und Lohnstruktur in Westdeutschland 1985?1997," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-006, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Bernd Fitzenberger & Karsten Kohn & Qingwei Wang, 2011. "The erosion of union membership in Germany: determinants, densities, decompositions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 141-165, January.
    5. 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.
    6. Thomas Bauer & Holger Bonin & Lorenz Goette & Uwe Sunde, 2007. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from West German Micro Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages 508-529, November.
    7. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-193.
    8. Gürtzgen, Nicole, 2005. "Rent-sharing : Does the Bargaining Regime Make a Difference? Theory and Empirical Evidence," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-15, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael C. Burda & Bernd Fitzenberger & Alexander Lembcke & Thorsten Vogel, 2008. "Unionization, Stochastic Dominance, and Compression of the Wage Distribution: Evidence from Germany," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-041, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    2. 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.
    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. Guertzgen Nicole, 2009. "Firm Heterogeneity and Wages under Different Bargaining Regimes: Does a Centralised Union Care for Low-Productivity Firms?," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(2-3), pages 239-253, April.
    5. Michael C. Burda & Bernd Fitzenberger & Alexander Lembcke & Thorsten Vogel, 2008. "Unionization, Stochastic Dominance, and Compression of the Wage Distribution: Evidence from Germany," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-041, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    6. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:44:i:1/2:p:163-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Aretz, Bodo & Busl, Claudia & Gürtzgen, Nicole & Hogrefe, Jan & Kappler, Marcus & Steffes, Susanne & Westerheide, Peter, 2009. "Endbericht zum Forschungsauftrag fe 13/08: "Ursachenanalyse der Verschiebung in der funktionalen Einkommensverteilung in Deutschland" (Aktenzeichen I A 3 - Vw 3170/08/10035)," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 110510, November.
    8. Karsten Kohn & Alexander Lembcke, 2007. "Wage distributions by bargaining regime," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer;Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft - German Statistical Society, vol. 1(3), pages 247-261, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Collective wage bargaining; wage structure; kernel density estimation; variance decomposition; wage equations; German Structure of Earnings Survey;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • 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

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