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Unionisation Structures, Productivity, and Firm Performance

  • Sebastian Braun
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    This paper studies how different unionisation structures affect firm productivity, firm performance, and consumer welfare in a monopolistic competition model with heterogeneous firms and free entry. While centralised bargaining induces tougher selection among hetero- geneous producers and thus increases average productivity, firm-level bargaining allows less productive entrants to remain in the market. Centralised bargaining also results in higher average output and profit levels than either decentralised bargaining or a competitive labour market. From a welfare perspective, the choice between centralised and decentralised bar- gaining involves a potential trade-off between product variety and product prices. Extending the model to a two-country setup, I furthermore show that the positive effect of centralised bargaining on average productivity can be overturned when firms face international low-wage competition.

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    Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2009-027.

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    Length: 37 pages
    Date of creation: May 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2009-027
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    1. Justus Haucap & Christian Wey, 2004. "Unionisation Structures and Innovation Incentives," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 398, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. DEL GATTO, Massimo & MION, Giordano & OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco I.P., 2006. "Trade integration, firm selection and the costs of non-Europe," CORE Discussion Papers 2006061, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    3. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2005. "Market Size Matters," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-25, 03.
    4. Moene, Karl Ove & Wallerstein, Michael, 1997. "Pay Inequality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 403-30, July.
    5. Grout, Paul A, 1984. "Investment and Wages in the Absence of Binding Contracts: A Nash Bargining Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 449-60, March.
    6. Hirsch, Barry, 2003. "What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?," IZA Discussion Papers 892, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. Tauman, Y & Weiss, Y, 1987. "Labor Unions and the Adoption of New Technology," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 477-501, October.
    9. Ulph, A. M. & Ulph, D. T., 1994. "Labour markets and innovation: Ex-post bargaining," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 195-210, January.
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