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Unions and Collective Bargaining in the Wake of the Great Recession

Author

Listed:
  • Addison, John T.

    () (University of South Carolina)

  • Portugal, Pedro

    () (Banco de Portugal)

  • Vilares, Hugo

    () (Banco de Portugal)

Abstract

This paper provides the first definitive estimates of union density in Portugal, 2010-2012, using a unique dataset. The determinants of union density at firm level are first modeled. Next, we draw upon a very recent study of the union wage premium to provide summary estimates of the union wage gap for different ranges of union density. Since these estimates fully reflect the reality of an industrial relations system in which collective agreements are extended to nonunion workers and firms, the final issue examined is contract coverage. Although there has occurred a pronounced fall in the number of new extension agreements in recent years, this decline has been uncritically linked with a fall in coverage. We show that the number of workers covered by new and existing agreements has been largely unaffected by economic crisis. The reduced frequency of new agreements and extensions is viewed as an aspect of downward nominal wage rigidity in deflationary times (the counterpart of "upward nominal wage rigidity" in more normal times) rather than the immediate expression of a crisis in collective bargaining per se.

Suggested Citation

  • Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro & Vilares, Hugo, 2015. "Unions and Collective Bargaining in the Wake of the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 8943, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8943
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
    2. David S. Lee & Alexandre Mas, 2012. "Long-Run Impacts of Unions on Firms: New Evidence from Financial Markets, 1961--1999," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 333-378.
    3. Anabela Carneiro & Pedro Portugal & José Varejão, 2013. "Catastrophic Job destruction," Working Papers w201314, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    4. Guimaraes, Paulo & Martins, Fernando & Portugal, Pedro, 2017. "Upward Nominal Wage Rigidity," IZA Discussion Papers 10510, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Anabela Carneiro & Paulo Guimaraes & Pedro Portugal, 2009. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker and Firm Heterogeneity," CEF.UP Working Papers 0903, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    6. Pedro S. Martins, 2014. "30,000 Minimum Wages: The Economic Effects of Collective Bargaining Extensions," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp589, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    7. Ana Rute Cardoso & Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal & Pedro S. Raposo, 2016. "The sources of the gender wage gap," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    8. Anabela Carneiro & Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2012. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker, Firm, and Job Title Heterogeneity," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 133-152, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John T. Addison & Pedro Portugal & Hugo Vilares, 2015. "Sources of the Union Wage Gap: Results from High-Dimensional Fixed Effects Regression Models," Working Papers w201512, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    2. E. Gautier & D. Fougère & S. Roux, 2016. "The Impact of the National Minimum Wage on Industry-Level Wage Bargaining in France," Working papers 587, Banque de France.
    3. John T. Addison, 2016. "Collective bargaining systems and macroeconomic and microeconomic flexibility: the quest for appropriate institutional forms in advanced economies," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-53, December.
    4. Boeri, Tito & Jimeno, Juan F., 2016. "Learning from the Great Divergence in unemployment in Europe during the crisis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 32-46.
    5. Alexander Hijzen & Pedro S. Martins, 2016. "No Extension without Representation? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Collective Bargaining," Working Papers 68, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    6. Hugo Vilares, 2015. "Trade Unions: The winners curse?," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    7. Gu, Grace Weishi & Malik, Samreen & Pozzoli, Dario & Rocha, Vera, 2016. "Trade Induced Skill Upgrading: Lessons from the Danish and Portuguese Experiences," IZA Discussion Papers 10035, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Guimaraes, Paulo & Martins, Fernando & Portugal, Pedro, 2017. "Upward Nominal Wage Rigidity," IZA Discussion Papers 10510, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Pedro Portugal, 2015. "On fallacies surrounding the discussion about the reduction of social security contributions," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    10. Denis Fougere & Erwan Gautier & Sébastien Roux, 2016. "Understanding Wage Floor Setting in Industry-Level Agreements: Evidence from France," Sciences Po publications 10290, Sciences Po.
    11. Andrew Garin & Filipe Silverio, 2017. "How Does Firm Performance Affect Wages? Evidence from Idiosyncratic Export Shocks," 2017 Papers pga940, Job Market Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    collective bargaining; union density; collective agreement coverage; union wage premium; nominal wage rigidity; Portugal;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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