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Opposite Effects of Competition and Rents on Collective Bargaining – Evidence from Germany

Author

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  • Finn Martensen

    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

Abstract

Why do firms and workers bargain individually or collectively? I test the effect of product market competition and rents with German establishment data. Against intuition, competition and rents have opposite effects. Competition has a u-shaped effect on the probability of collective bargaining. This contradicts the existing theory (Ebell and Haefke 2006; Boeri and Burda 2009). By contrast, firms with higher rents are more prone to collective bargaining. For both competition and rents, the effect is stronger for sector-level than for firm-level collective bargaining. Indicators of higher productivity also matter: A higher export share drives firms into individual wage bargaining, while a higher share of workers with higher education drives firms into firm-level bargaining. Thus, the interplay between productivity, competition, and the wage setting regime is much more subtle than suggested by the existing theory.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1415
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    File URL: http://www.uni-konstanz.de/FuF/wiwi/workingpaperseries/WP_15_Martensen_2014.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Florian Baumann & Tobias Brändle, 2017. "We Want Them All Covered! Collective Bargaining and Firm Heterogeneity: Theory and Evidence from Germany," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 55(3), pages 463-499, September.
    2. Schnabel Claus, 2016. "United, Yet Apart? A Note on Persistent Labour Market Differences between Western and Eastern Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 236(2), pages 157-179, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Collective bargaining; Wage determinations; Productivity; Product market competition; Establishment data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities

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