IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp8242.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Centralized vs. Decentralized Wage Formation: The Role of Firms' Production Technology

Author

Listed:
  • Hirsch, Boris

    () (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

  • Merkl, Christian

    () (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Müller, Steffen

    () (IWH Halle)

  • Schnabel, Claus

    () (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

Abstract

This paper is the first to show theoretically and empirically how firms' production technology affects the choice of their preferred wage formation regime. Our theoretical framework predicts, first, that the larger the total factor productivity of a firm, the more likely it is to opt for centralized wage formation where it can hide behind less productive firms. Second, the larger a firm's scale elasticity, the higher its incentive to choose centralized rather than decentralized wage setting due to labor cost and straitjacket effects. As firms in Germany are allowed to choose their wage formation regime, we test these two hypotheses with representative establishment data for West Germany. We find that establishments with centralized bargaining agreements indeed have economically and statistically significantly larger total factor productivities and scale elasticities than comparable establishments outside the centralized bargaining regime.

Suggested Citation

  • Hirsch, Boris & Merkl, Christian & Müller, Steffen & Schnabel, Claus, 2014. "Centralized vs. Decentralized Wage Formation: The Role of Firms' Production Technology," IZA Discussion Papers 8242, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8242
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp8242.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mueller Steffen, 2008. "Capital Stock Approximation using Firm Level Panel Data: A Modified Perpetual Inventory Approach," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(4), pages 357-371, August.
    2. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
    3. John T. Addison & Alex Bryson & Paulino Teixeira & André Pahnke & Lutz Bellmann, 2013. "The Extent of Collective Bargaining and Workplace Representation: Transitions between States and their Determinants. A Comparative Analysis of Germany and Great Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(2), pages 182-209, May.
    4. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Hunt, Jennifer, 1994. "Wage Bargaining Structure, Employment and Economic Integration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 528-541, May.
    5. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
    6. Salvador Ortigueira, 2013. "The Rise and Fall of Centralized Wage Bargaining," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(3), pages 825-855, July.
    7. Tito Boeri & Michael C. Burda, 2009. "Preferences for Collective Versus Individualised Wage Setting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1440-1463, October.
    8. Ellguth, Peter & Kohaut, Susanne & Möller, Iris, 2014. "The IAB Establishment Panel - methodological essentials and data quality," Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 47(1-2), pages 27-41.
    9. Ramana Ramaswamy & Bob Rowthorn, 1993. "Centralized Bargaining, Efficiency Wages, and Flexibility," IMF Working Papers 93/25, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Jimeno, Juan F. & Thomas, Carlos, 2013. "Collective bargaining, firm heterogeneity and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 63-79.
    11. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    12. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, January.
    13. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 2001. "Centralized bargaining and reorganized work: Are they compatible?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1851-1875, December.
    14. repec:nms:wsimit:10.5771/0342-300x-2012-4-297 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Julio J. Rotemberg, 1982. "Monopolistic Price Adjustment and Aggregate Output," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 517-531.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Strifler & Thomas Beissinger, 2016. "Fairness Considerations in Labor Union Wage Setting – A Theoretical Analysis," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 63(3), pages 303-330, July.
    2. Carluccio, Juan & Fougère, Denis & Gautier, Erwan, 2016. "The impact of trade shocks on collective wage bargaining agreements," CEPR Discussion Papers 11289, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Florian Baumann & Tobias Brändle, 2015. "We Want them all Covered! Collective Bargaining and Firm Heterogeneity. Theory and Evidence from Germany," IAW Discussion Papers 114, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    4. Finn Martensen, 2014. "Opposite Effects of Competition and Rents on Collective Bargaining – Evidence from Germany," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2014-15, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    5. Merkl, Christian & Stüber, Heiko, 2016. "Wage cyclicalities and labor market dynamics at the establishment level: Theory and evidence," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 12/2016, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    6. Stella Capuano & Andreas Hauptmann & Jans-Jörg Schmerer, 2014. "Trade and Unions: Can Exporters Benefit from Collective Bargaining?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5096, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Hochmuth, Brigitte & Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian & Gartner, Hermann, 2019. "Hartz IV and the decline of German unemployment: A macroeconomic evaluation," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 01/2019, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    collective bargaining; bargaining coverage; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8242. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.