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No Extension without Representation? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Collective Bargaining

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  • Alexander Hijzen
  • Pedro S. Martins

Abstract

In many countries, notably across Europe, collective bargaining coverage is enhanced by government-issued extensions that widen the reach of collective agreements beyond their signatory parties to all firms and workers in the same sector. This paper analyses the causal impact of such extensions on employment using a natural experiment in Portugal: the immediate suspension by the government that took office in 21 June 2011 of the (until then) nearly automatic extensions. The combination of this suspension and the time needed for processing the extension applications resulted in a sharp and unanticipated decline in the extension probability of agreements signed several months earlier, around 1 March 2011. Our results, based on a regression discontinuity design and matched employer-employee-agreement panel data, suggest that extensions had a negative impact on employment growth. Moreover, the effects tend to be concentrated amongst non-affiliated firms. The lack of representativeness of employer associations is a potentially important factor behind the adverse effect of extensions. Another is the role of retro-activity in combination with the administrative delay in processing extensions. This is particularly relevant in the context of a recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Hijzen & Pedro S. Martins, 2016. "No Extension without Representation? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Collective Bargaining," Working Papers 68, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgs:wpaper:68
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    File URL: http://cgr.sbm.qmul.ac.uk/CGRWP68.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Romain Duval & Prakash Loungani, 2021. "Designing Labor Market Institutions in Emerging Market and Developing Economies: A Review of Evidence and IMF Policy Advice," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 63(1), pages 31-83, March.
    2. Martins, Pedro S., 2021. "Should the maximum duration of fixed-term contracts increase in recessions? Evidence from a law reform," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    3. Bernardo Fanfani, 2019. "The Employment Effects of Collective Bargaining," Working papers 064, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    4. Martins, Pedro S., 2021. "Do entry wages increase when severance pay drops? Not in recessions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 201(C).
    5. Marta Martínez Matute & Pedro S. Martins, 2022. "How representative are social partners in Europe? The role of dissimilarity," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 36(4), pages 424-444, December.
    6. Tito Boeri & Andrea Ichino & Enrico Moretti & Johanna Posch, 2021. "Wage Equalization and Regional Misallocation: Evidence from Italian and German Provinces [“Regional Wage Disparities and Migration.”]," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(6), pages 3249-3292.
    7. Simon Jäger & Shakked Noy & Benjamin Schoefer, 2022. "The German Model of Industrial Relations: Balancing Flexibility and Collective Action," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 53-80, Fall.
    8. Pierre Cahuc, 2022. "Inequalities in the French labour market: a mixed picture," SciencePo Working papers Main hal-03882550, HAL.
    9. Andrea Garnero & François Rycx & Isabelle Terraz, 2020. "Productivity and Wage Effects of Firm‐Level Collective Agreements: Evidence from Belgian Linked Panel Data," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 58(4), pages 936-972, December.
    10. Thommen, Yann, 2022. "Reforms of collective bargaining institutions in European Union countries: Bad timing, bad outcomes?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    11. Pedro S. Martins, 2021. "30,000 Minimum Wages: The Economic Effects of Collective Bargaining Extensions," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 59(2), pages 335-369, June.
    12. Fukao, Kyoji & Perugini, Cristiano & Pompei, Fabrizio, 2022. "Labour market regimes, technology and rent-sharing in Japan," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
    13. Martins, Pedro S., 2020. "What Do Employers' Associations Do?," IZA Discussion Papers 13705, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro & de Almeida Vilares, Hugo, 2023. "Union membership density and wages: The role of worker, firm, and job-title heterogeneity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 233(2), pages 612-632.
    15. Pedro S. Martins, 2016. "Employment Resilience through Services Exports? Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," Working Papers 79, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    16. Martins, Pedro S., 2016. "Can Overtime Premium Flexibility Promote Employment? Firm- and Worker-Level Evidence from a Labour Law Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 10205, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Ronald Bachmann & Rahel Felder, 2021. "Labour market transitions, shocks and institutions in turbulent times: a cross-country analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 329-352, May.
    18. Martins, Pedro S. & Saraiva, Joana, 2020. "Assessing the legal value added of collective bargaining agreements," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    19. Pedro S. Martins, 2016. "The third worker: Assessing the trade-off between employees and contractors," Working Papers 75, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    20. Pedro Silva Martins, 2019. "The Microeconomic Impacts of Employee Representatives: Evidence from Membership Thresholds," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 591-622, October.
    21. Fanfani, Bernardo, 2023. "The employment effects of collective wage bargaining," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 227(C).
    22. Ramos, Raul & Sanromá, Esteban & Simón, Hipólito, 2022. "Collective bargaining levels, employment and wage inequality in Spain," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 375-395.
    23. Martins, Pedro S., 2017. "Economic effects of overtime premium flexibility: Firm- and worker-level evidence from a law reform," GLO Discussion Paper Series 102, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    24. Pierre Cahuc, 2022. "Inequalities in the French labour market: a mixed picture," Working Papers hal-03882550, HAL.
    25. Pedro S. Martins, 2016. "Do wages increase when severance pay drops? Not in recessions," Working Papers 77, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    collective bargaining; industrial relations; employer associations; wage setting; employment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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