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Institutional features of wage bargaining in 23 European countries, the US and Japan

  • Philip Ducaju

    ()

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

  • Erwan Gautier

    ()

    (Banque de France)

  • Daphné Momferatou

    ()

    (European Central Bank)

  • Mélanie Ward-Warmedinge

    ()

    (European Central Bank)

This paper presents information on wage-bargaining institutions, collected for 23 European countries, plus the US and Japan using a standardised questionnaire. Our data provide information from the years 1995 and 2006, for four sectors of activity and the aggregate economy. The main findings include a high degree of regulation in wage-setting in most countries. Although union membership is limited in many of them, union coverage is high and almost all countries also have some form of national minimum wage. Most countries negotiate wages on several levels, the sectoral level still being the most dominant, with an increasingly important role for bargaining at the individual firm level. The average length of collective bargaining agreements is found to lie between one and three years. Most agreements are strongly driven by developments in prices and eleven of the countries surveyed have some form of indexation mechanism which affects wages. Cluster analysis identifies three country groupings of wage-setting institutions

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Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 154.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:200812-3
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  1. Dickens, William T. & Götte, Lorenz & Groshen, Erica L. & Holden, Steinar & Messina, Julián & Schweitzer, Mark E. & Turunen, Jarkko & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie, 2006. "How wages change: micro evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Working Paper Series 0697, European Central Bank.
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  8. Hartog, Joop & Leuven, Edwin & Teulings, Coen, 2002. "Wages and the bargaining regime in a corporatist setting: the Netherlands," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 317-331, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Daniele Checchi & Claudio Lucifora, 2002. "Unions and labour market institutions in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 361-408, October.
  11. Robert J. Flanagan, 1999. "Macroeconomic Performance and Collective Bargaining: An International Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1150-1175, September.
  12. Cukierman, A. & Lippi, F., 1998. "Central Bank Independence, Centralization of Wage Bargaining, Inflation and Unemployment - Theory and Some Evidence," Discussion Paper 1998-116, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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