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Centralized Bargaining, Multi-Tasking, and Work Incentives

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  • Lindbeck, Assar
  • Snower, Dennis J.

Abstract

The paper examines the implications of an important aspect of the ongoing reorganization of work – the move from occupational specialization towards multi-tasking – for centralized wage bargaining. The analysis shows how, on account of this reorganization, centralized bargaining becomes increasingly inefficient and detrimental to firms’ profit opportunities, since it prevents firms from offering their employees adequate incentives to perform the appropriate mix of tasks. The paper also shows how centralized bargaining inhibits firms from using wages to induce workers to learn how to use their experience from one set of tasks to enhance their performance at other tasks. In this way, the paper helps explain the increasing resistance to centralized bargaining in various advanced market economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1997. "Centralized Bargaining, Multi-Tasking, and Work Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 1563, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1563
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Franz Traxler, 2003. "Bargaining (De)centralization, Macroeconomic Performance and Control over the Employment Relationship," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 41(1), pages 1-27, March.
    2. Siebert, Horst, 1997. "Disziplinierung der nationalen Wirtschaftspolitik: durch die internationale Kapitalmobilität," Kiel Working Papers 832, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Norbert Berthold & Rainer Fehn, 2003. "Unemployment in Germany: Reasons and Remedies," CESifo Working Paper Series 871, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Floro Ernesto Caroleo, 2000. "Le politiche per l'occupazione in Europa: una tassonomia istituzionale," STUDI ECONOMICI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2000(71).
    5. Snower, Dennis J., 1999. "Inequality of Earnings," CEPR Discussion Papers 2321, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Ansgar Belke & Bernhard Herz & Lukas Vogel, 2007. "Reforms, Exchange Rates and Monetary Commitment: A Panel Analysis for OECD Countries," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 369-388, July.
    7. Dennis J. Snower, 1998. "Causes of changing earnings inequality," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 69-133.
    8. Horst Siebert, 1997. "Labor Market Rigidities: At the Root of Unemployment in Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 37-54, Summer.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Centralized wage bargaining; Employment; Information Flows; Organization of Firms; Restructuring; Technological Change; Unemployment; Wage Formation;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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

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