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Wage bargaining in Germany : the role of works councils and opening clauses

Author

Listed:
  • Ellguth, Peter

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

  • Gerner, Hans-Dieter

    (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

  • Stegmaier, Jens

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

Abstract

"German employment relations are characterized by a distinct dual system: First, working conditions and wages are determined by industry level collective bargaining agreements. Second, on the establishment level the works council is responsible for employer-employee negotiations. But since the mid-1980s more and more areas of regulation were transferred from the industry to the establishment level using so called opening-clauses. Our analysis relies on rich German establishment data and reveals new insights in the institutional machinery of wage bargaining: While the existence of such clauses is related to higher wages (11 %), their application results in wages cuts of roughly the same size. Regarding works councils our results suggest that they are able to prevent negative wage effects of opening clauses on average." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Suggested Citation

  • Ellguth, Peter & Gerner, Hans-Dieter & Stegmaier, Jens, 2012. "Wage bargaining in Germany : the role of works councils and opening clauses," IAB Discussion Paper 201205, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  • Handle: RePEc:iab:iabdpa:201205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Addison, John T. & Teixeira, Paulino & Zwick, Thomas, 2006. "Works Councils and the Anatomy of Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 2474, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2004. "The Course of Research into the Economic Consequences of German Works Councils," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 255-281, June.
    4. Hirsch, Boris & Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus, 2009. "Work councils and separations: voice, monopoly, and insurance effects," Discussion Papers 62, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    5. John T. Addison & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "Works Councils in the Production Process," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 126(2), pages 251-283.
    6. Addison, John T & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2001. "Work Councils in Germany: Their Effects on Establishment Performance," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 659-694, October.
    7. 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.
    8. Jens Mohrenweiser & Paul Marginson & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "What Triggers the Establishment of a Works Council?," Working Papers 0101, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Jul 2010.
    9. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Franz, Wolfgang, 1999. "Der Flächentarifvertrag: Eine kritische Würdigung aus ökonomischer Sicht," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-57, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sarah Bernhard & Thomas Kruppe, 2012. "Effectiveness of Further Vocational Training in Germany – Empirical Findings for Persons Receiving Means-tested Unemployment Benefits," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 132(4), pages 501-526.
    2. Jelle Visser, 2016. "What happened to collective bargaining during the great recession?," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-35, December.
    3. Uwe Jirjahn, 2012. "Industrielle Beziehungen und Innovationserfolg," Research Papers in Economics 2012-02, University of Trier, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tarifverhandlungen; Tarifvertrag; Betriebsrat; Lohnfindung; Öffnungsklausel; IAB-Betriebspanel;

    JEL classification:

    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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