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Corporate governance, entrenched labor, and economic growth

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  • William R. Emmons
  • Frank A. Schmid

Abstract

The German system of codetermination contributes to the entrenchment of labor. We show in a two-period model of project choice that entrenched labor leads to underinvestment and overstaffing. We provide empirical evidence that German firms subject to codetermination with equal representation of workers on supervisory boards during 1989-93 were, on average, overstaffed. In addition, the fraction of employees in codetermined firms has decreased over time. The expanded reach of codetermination during the mid-1970s therefore may have contributed to the deterioration of German economic growth performance beginning at about that time through underinvestment, overstaffing, and costly migration of business activity away from firms subject to codetermination.

Suggested Citation

  • William R. Emmons & Frank A. Schmid, 2001. "Corporate governance, entrenched labor, and economic growth," Working Papers 2001-023, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2001-023
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jensen, Michael C & Meckling, William H, 1979. "Rights and Production Functions: An Application to Labor-managed Firms and Codetermination," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 469-506, October.
    2. Franks, Julian & Mayer, Colin, 2001. "Ownership and Control of German Corporations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 943-977.
    3. Gary Gorton & Frank Schmid, 2000. "Class Struggle Inside the Firm: A Study of German Codetermination," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-36, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    4. FitzRoy, Felix R & Kraft, Kornelius, 1993. " Economic Effects of Codetermination," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(3), pages 365-375.
    5. Stewart C. Myers, 2000. "Outside Equity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1005-1037, June.
    6. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-475, June.
    7. Franks, Julian & Mayer, Colin, 2001. "Ownership and Control of German Corporations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 943-77.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Walkner, 2004. "Issues in corporate governance," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 200, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic development ; Corporations - Finance ; Germany;

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