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Wages and the bargaining regime under multi-level bargaining: Belgium, Denmark and Spain

  • Robert Plasman
  • Michael Rusinek
  • François Rycx

Using a unique harmonized matched employer-employee dataset (European Structure of Earnings Survey, 1995), we study the impact of the regime of collective bargaining on wages in the manufacturing sector of three countries that are characterized by a multilevel system of bargaining: Belgium, Denmark and Spain. Our findings show that, compared to multi-employer bargaining, single-employer bargaining has a positive effect both on wage levels and on wage dispersion in Belgium and in Denmark. In Spain, single-employer bargaining also increases wage levels but reduces wage dispersion. Our interpretation is that in Belgium and Denmark, single-employer bargaining is used to adapt pay to the specific needs of the firm while, in Spain, it is mainly used by trade unions in order to compress the wage distribution.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series DULBEA Working Papers with number 06-01.RS..

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Length: 25 p.
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by: ULB, DULBEA
Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:06-01rs
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  1. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2003. "Bargained Wages, Wage Drift and the Design of the Wage Setting System," Working Papers w200318, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
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  12. Juan Francisco Canal Domínguez & César Rodríguez Gutiérrez, 2004. "Collective Bargaining and Within-firm Wage Dispersion in Spain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(3), pages 481-506, 09.
  13. Stewart, Mark B, 1987. "Collective Bargaining Arrangements, Closed Shops and Relative Pay," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(385), pages 140-56, March.
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