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The Effect of Worker Representation on Employment Behavior in Germany: Another Case of -2.5%


  • Addison, John T.

    () (University of South Carolina)

  • Teixeira, Paulino

    () (University of Coimbra)


Despite recent changes in the relationship between unionism and various indicators of firm performance, there is one seeming constant in the Anglophone countries: unions at the workplace are associated with reduced employment growth of around -2.5% a year. Using German data, we examine the impact of the works council – that country’s form of workplace representation – on employment change, 1993-2001. Works council plants have 2 to 3 percent lower employment growth having controlled for wages, changes in demand, industry affiliation, various worker and establishment characteristics, and survival bias. That said, works councils do not seem to further slow the tortuous pace of employment adjustment in Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Addison, John T. & Teixeira, Paulino, 2004. "The Effect of Worker Representation on Employment Behavior in Germany: Another Case of -2.5%," IZA Discussion Papers 1188, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1188

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Machin, Stephen J & Wadhwani, Sushil, 1991. "The Effects of Unions on Organisational Change and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 835-854, July.
    2. 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.
    3. David Blanchflower & Simon Burgess, 1998. "New Technology And Jobs: Comparative Evidence From A Two Country Study," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2-4), pages 109-138.
    4. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    5. Burgess, Simon & Knetter, Michael & Michelacci, Claudio, 2000. "Employment and Output Adjustment in the OECD: A Disaggregate Analysis of the Role of Job Security Provisions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(267), pages 419-435, August.
    6. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1994. "Does Employment Protection Inhibit Labor Market Flexibility? Lessons from Germany, France, and Belgium," NBER Chapters,in: Social Protection versus Economic Flexibility: Is There a Trade-Off?, pages 59-94 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "German Works Councils Old and New: Incidence, Coverage and Determinants," IZA Discussion Papers 495, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. John T. Addison & Lutz Bellmann & Arnd Kölling, 2004. "Works Councils and Plant Closings in Germany," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 125-148, March.
    9. Addison, John T. & Belfield, Clive R., 2002. "Unions and Establishment Performance: Evidence from the British Workplace Industrial/Employee Relations Surveys," IZA Discussion Papers 455, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Montgomery, Edward, 1989. "Employment and Unemployment Effects of Unions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(2), pages 170-190, April.
    11. Blanchflower, David G & Millward, Neil & Oswald, Andrew J, 1991. "Unionism and Employment Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 815-834, July.
    12. Booth, Alison L & McCulloch, Andrew, 1999. "Redundancy Pay, Unions and Employment," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(3), pages 346-366, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Addison, John T., 2005. "The Determinants of Firm Performance: Unions, Works Councils, and Employee Involvement/High Performance Work Practices," IZA Discussion Papers 1620, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:38:i:2/3:p:268-283 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Franz, Wolfgang, 2005. "Die deutsche Mitbestimmung auf dem Prüfstand : Bilanz und Vorschläge für eine Neuausrichtung (The German model of codetermination under test * conclusions and suggestions for reorientation)," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 38(2/3), pages 268-283.

    More about this item


    unions; works councils; employment change; employment dynamics; survival bias;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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