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Productivity and wage effects of firm-level collective agreements: Evidence from Belgian linked panel data

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  • Andrea Garnero
  • Francois Rycx
  • Isabelle Terraz

Abstract

How do firm-level collective agreements affect firm performance in a multi-level bargaining system? Using detailed Belgian linked employer-employee panel data, our findings show that firm agreements increase both wage costs and labour productivity (with respect to sector-level agreements). Relying on a recent approach developed by Bartolucci (2014), they also indicate that firm agreements exert a stronger impact on wages than on productivity, so that on average profitability is hampered. However, this rent-sharing effect only holds in sectors where firms are more concentrated. Firm agreements are thus mainly found to raise wages beyond labour productivity when the rents to be shared between workers and firms are relatively big. Overall, this suggests that firm-level agreements benefit both employers and employees – through higher productivity and wages – without being detrimental to firms’ gross profits.

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  • Andrea Garnero & Francois Rycx & Isabelle Terraz, 2019. "Productivity and wage effects of firm-level collective agreements: Evidence from Belgian linked panel data," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 223, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:223-en
    DOI: 10.1787/132aa88e-en
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    Cited by:

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    2. Cardullo, Gabriele & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2020. "A model of unions, two-tier bargaining and capital investment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    3. Benoît Mahy & François Rycx & Guillaume Vermeylen & Mélanie Volral, 2018. "Productivity, wages and profits: Does firms’ position in the value chain matter?," Working Paper Research 358, National Bank of Belgium.
    4. Laroche, Patrice, 2020. "Unions, Collective Bargaining and Firm Performance," GLO Discussion Paper Series 728, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Thang Ngoc Bach & Canh Quang Le & Thang Van Nguyen, 2021. "Rent Sharing, Investment, and Collective Bargaining: Evidence from Employee‐Level Data in Vietnam," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 59(1), pages 3-38, March.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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