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Works Councils and Collective Bargaining in Germany: The Impact on Productivity and Wages


  • Hübler, Olaf

    () (Leibniz University of Hannover)

  • Jirjahn, Uwe

    () (University of Trier)


This paper investigates the interaction between establishment-level codetermination and industry-level collective bargaining in Germany. Based on a simple bargaining model we derive our main hypothesis: In establishments covered by collective bargaining agreements works councils are more likely to be engaged in productivity enhancing activities and less engaged in rent seeking activities than their counterparts in uncovered firms. Using data from German manufacturing establishments, our empirical analysis confirms this hypothesis. The presence of works councils exerts a positive impact on productivity within the covered industrial relations regime but not within the uncovered industrial relations regime. In contrast, the presence of works councils has a positive effect on wages within the uncovered industrial relations regime but not to the same degree within the covered industrial relations regime.

Suggested Citation

  • Hübler, Olaf & Jirjahn, Uwe, 2001. "Works Councils and Collective Bargaining in Germany: The Impact on Productivity and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 322, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp322

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pereira, Pedro Telhado & Martins, Pedro Silva, 2000. "Does Education Reduce Wage Inequality? Quantile Regressions Evidence from Fifteen European Countries," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp379, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    2. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
    3. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, March.
    4. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
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    More about this item


    Dual industrial relations; bargaining; efficiency; rent seeking; correlated double selection;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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