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

  • Karsten Kohn
  • Alexander C. Lembcke

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.

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File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0813.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0813.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0813
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten & Wang, Qingwei, 2006. "The Erosion of Union Membership in Germany: Determinants, Densities, Decompositions," IZA Discussion Papers 2193, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bauer, Thomas & Bonin, Holger & Sunde, Uwe, 2004. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from West German Microdata," CEPR Discussion Papers 4271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Wolf Dieter Heinbach, 2006. "Bargained Wages in Decentralized Wage-Setting Regimes," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 276/2005, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  4. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten, 2006. "Gleicher Lohn für gleiche Arbeit? Zum Zusammenhang zwischen Gewerkschaftsmitgliedschaft und Lohnstruktur in Westdeutschland 1985?1997," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-06, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. David Card & Sara de la Rica, 2006. "Firm-level contracting and the structure of wages in Spain," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(4), pages 573-592, July.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-93.
  9. Knut Gerlach & Gesine Stephan, 2006. "Bargaining Regimes and Wage Dispersion," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 226(6), pages 629-645, November.
  10. 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.
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