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The Impact of Works Councils on Wages

  • John T. Addison

    (University of South Carolina (U.S.A.), GEMF/Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal))

  • Paulino Teixeira

    ()

    (GEMF and Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra)

  • Thomas Zwick

    (CEER/Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung, Mannheim (Germany))

This paper investigates for the first time the effect of works councils on the anatomy of wages, using matched employer-employee data from the German LIAB for 2001. We find that works councils are associated with higher earnings. The wage premium is roughly comparable with the combined effect of sectoral and plant collective bargaining proper. This result persists after taking account of worker and establishment heterogeneity and the endogeneity of works council presence. Next, using quantile regressions, we find that the works council premium is decreasing with the position of the worker in the wage distribution. And it is also higher for women than for men. Finally, in addition to attenuating the gender wage gap and reducing wage dispersion, works councils have a small but significantly positive impact on tenure after controlling for wages. This suggests that there is some rent sharing; even if, overall, the entity’s voice effects appear to dominate its monopoly effects.

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File URL: http://gemf.fe.uc.pt/workingpapers/pdf/2006/gemf06_08.pdf
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Paper provided by GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra in its series GEMF Working Papers with number 2006-08.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2006-08
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  1. Horn, Henrik & Svensson, Lars E O, 1986. "Trade Unions and Optimal Labour Contracts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 323-41, June.
  2. Addison, John T. & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "The course of research into the economic consequences of German works councils," Discussion Papers 22, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  3. Addison, John T. & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2006. "The (Parlous) State of German Unions," IZA Discussion Papers 2000, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Richard B. Freeman & Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Works Councils," NBER Chapters, in: Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations, pages 27-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  6. David Card & Sara de la Rica, 2005. "The Effect of Firm-Level Contracts on the Structure of Wages: Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," NBER Working Papers 11829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. FitzRoy, Felix R & Kraft, Kornelius, 1985. "Unionization, Wages and Efficiency: Theories and Evidence from the U.S. and West Germany," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 537-54.
  8. Kölling, Arnd & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "Establishment Age and Wages: Evidence from German Linked Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 679, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Olaf H¸bler & Uwe Jirjahn, 2003. "Works Councils and Collective Bargaining in Germany: The Impact on Productivity and Wages," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(4), pages 471-491, 09.
  10. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "The reform of the German works constitution act: a critical assessment," Discussion Papers 16, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  11. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira, 2005. "The Effect of Works Councils on Employment Change," GEMF Working Papers 2005-06, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  12. 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.
  13. Farber, Henry S, 1994. "The Analysis of Interfirm Worker Mobility," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(4), pages 554-93, October.
  14. Joan Muysken & Thomas Zwick, 2006. "Wage Divergence and Unemployment: The Impact of Wage Setting Power and Training Costs," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 126(1), pages 1-19.
  15. Alda, Holger, 2005. "Datenbeschreibung der Version 1 des LIAB-Längsschnittmodells (LIAB Longitudinal Model Version 1 - Data Description)," FDZ Datenreport. Documentation on Labour Market Data 200503_de, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
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