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Works Councils, Collective Bargaining and Apprenticeship Training

  • Kriechel, Ben


    (Economix Research & Consulting)

  • Mühlemann, Samuel


    (University of Munich)

  • Pfeifer, Harald



  • Schuette, Miriam


In this paper, we investigate the effects of works councils on apprenticeship training in Germany. The German law attributes works councils substantial information and co-determination rights to training-related issues. Thus, works councils may also have an impact on the cost-benefit relation of workplace training. Using detailed firm-level data containing information on the costs and benefits of apprenticeship training, we find that firms with works councils make a significantly higher net investment in training compared with firms without such an institution. We also find that the fraction of former trainees still employed with the same firm five years after training is significantly higher in the presence of works councils, thus enabling firms to recoup training investments over a longer time horizon. Furthermore, all works council effects are much more pronounced for firms covered by collective bargaining agreements.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6497.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industrial Relations, 2014, 66 (5), 1095-1112
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6497
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  1. 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, 06.
  2. 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).
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1999. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 539-572, June.
  4. Addison, John T. & Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2005. "Do Works Councils Inhibit Investment?," IZA Discussion Papers 1473, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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 659-94, October.
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  7. Kessler, Anke & Lülfesmann, Christoph, 2000. "The Theory of Human Capital Revisited: On the Interaction of General and Specific Investments," CEPR Discussion Papers 2533, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten & Wang, Qingwei, 2006. "The Erosion of Union Membership in Germany: Determinants, Densities, Decompositions," IZA Discussion Papers 2193, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  10. Wolter, Stefan C. & Ryan, Paul, 2011. "Apprenticeship," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
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  15. Fabian Lange, 2007. "The Speed of Employer Learning," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 1-35.
  16. Christian Dustmann & Johannes Ludsteck & Uta Schönberg, 2009. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 843-881.
  17. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Thomas Zwick, 2010. "German Works Councils and the Anatomy of Wages," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 247-270, January.
  18. Dustmann, Christian & Schönberg, Uta, 2004. "Training and Union Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 1435, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. 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.
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  21. Muehlemann, Samuel & Pfeifer, Harald & Walden, Günter & Wenzelmann, Felix & Wolter, Stefan C., 2010. "The financing of apprenticeship training in the light of labor market regulations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 799-809, October.
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