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Trade and Unions: Can Exporters Benefit from Collective Bargaining?

Author

Listed:
  • Stella Capuano
  • Andreas Hauptmann
  • Jans-Jörg Schmerer

Abstract

Unions are often stigmatized as being a source of inefficiency due to higher collective bargaining outcomes. This is in stark contrast with the descriptive evidence presented in this paper. Larger firms choose to export and are also more likely to adopt collective bargaining. We rationalize those stylized facts using a partial equilibrium model that allows us to evaluate firms’ value functions under individual or collective bargaining. Exporting further decreases average production costs for large firms in the collective bargaining regime, allowing them to benefit from additional external economies of scale due to lower bargaining costs. Our findings suggest that the positive correlation between export status and collective bargaining can be explained through size. Including controls for firm-size destroys the estimated positive relationship between export status and collective bargaining. Using interaction terms between size and the export status, we find that larger exporters tend to do collective bargaining, whereas smaller exporters tend to refrain from collective agreements.

Suggested Citation

  • Stella Capuano & Andreas Hauptmann & Jans-Jörg Schmerer, 2014. "Trade and Unions: Can Exporters Benefit from Collective Bargaining?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5096, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5096
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp5096.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stephan, Gesine & Uthmann, Sven, 2014. "Akzeptanz von Vergeltungsmaßnahmen am Arbeitsplatz : Befunde aus einer quasi-experimentellen Untersuchung," IAB Discussion Paper 201427, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Marco de Pinto & Laszlo Goerke, 2020. "Welfare‐enhancing Trade Unions in an Oligopoly with Excessive Entry," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 88(1), pages 60-90, January.
    3. Carluccio, Juan & Fougère, Denis & Gautier, Erwan, 2016. "The impact of trade shocks on collective wage bargaining agreements," CEPR Discussion Papers 11289, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Florian Baumann & Tobias Brändle, 2015. "We Want them all Covered! Collective Bargaining and Firm Heterogeneity. Theory and Evidence from Germany," IAW Discussion Papers 114, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    5. Juan Carluccio & Denis Fougère & Erwan Gautier, 2015. "Trade, Wages and Collective Bargaining: Evidence from France," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(584), pages 803-837, May.
    6. Baumgarten, Daniel & Lehwald, Sybille, 2019. "Trade Exposure and the Decline in Collective Bargaining: Evidence From Germany," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 165, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    7. de Pinto, Marco & Lingens, Jörg, 2019. "The impact of unionization costs when firm-selection matters," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 50-63.
    8. Brändle, Tobias & Kalweit, René, 2016. "The Employment Effects of the EU Eastern Enlargement in Germany," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145502, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    trade; unions; exports; firm level data;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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