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Collective bargaining through the magnifying glass: A comparison between the Netherlands and Portugal

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  • Alexander Hijzen
  • Pedro Martins
  • Jante Parlevliet

Abstract

Since the global financial crisis, sector-level bargaining has come under renewed scrutiny. While in Southern Europe, the crisis raised concerns about the role of collective bargaining as an obstacle to labour market adjustment, in Northern Europe it was perceived more favourably and, according to some, may even have helped to weather the fallout of the crisis more easily. This paper seeks to contribute to a deeper understanding of sector-level bargaining systems and their role for labour market performance. We compare two countries with seemingly similar collective bargaining systems, the Netherlands and Portugal, and document a number of features that may affect labour market outcomes, including: i) the scope for flexibility at the firm or worker level within sector-level agreements; ii) the emphasis on representativeness as a criterion for extensions; iii) the effectiveness of coordination across bargaining units; and iv) pro-active government policies to enhance trust and cooperation between the social partners.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Hijzen & Pedro Martins & Jante Parlevliet, 2017. "Collective bargaining through the magnifying glass: A comparison between the Netherlands and Portugal," DNB Working Papers 576, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:576
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. E. Gautier & D. Fougère & S. Roux, 2016. "The Impact of the National Minimum Wage on Industry-Level Wage Bargaining in France," Working papers 587, Banque de France.
    2. John T. Addison, 2016. "Collective bargaining systems and macroeconomic and microeconomic flexibility: the quest for appropriate institutional forms in advanced economies," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-53, December.
    3. Frank A.G. den Butter & Robert H.J. Mosch, 2003. "The Dutch Miracle: Institutions, Networks, and Trust," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(2), pages 362-362, June.
    4. Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro & Vilares, Hugo, 2015. "Unions and Collective Bargaining in the Wake of the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 8943, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Pedro S. Martins, 2014. "30,000 Minimum Wages: The Economic Effects of Collective Bargaining Extensions," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp589, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    industrial relations; social dialogue; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies

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