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German Works Councils and The Anatomy of Wages

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  • John T. Addison

    () (Department of Economics, Moore School of Business University of South Carolina, USA and The Rimini Centre for Economics Analysis, Rimini, Italy)

  • Paulino Teixeira

    () (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra, Potugal)

  • Thomas Zwick

    () (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW),Mannheim, Germany)

Abstract

This paper provides the first comprehensive examination of the effect of German works councils on wages, using matched employer-employee data from the German LIAB for 2001. We find that works councils are associated with higher earnings: the wage premium is around 11 percent, and is higher under formal collective bargaining. This result persists after taking account of worker and establishment heterogeneity and the endogeneity of works council presence. Using quantile regressions, we further report that the works council premium is decreasing in the position of the worker in the wage distribution; and is higher for women than for men. Finally, the works council wage premium is associated with longer job tenure, which suggests that some of the premium is a noncompetitive rent. That said, it remains entirely possible that works council 'voice' may dominate its distributive effects, at least insofar as the tenure result is concerned.

Suggested Citation

  • John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Thomas Zwick, 2007. "German Works Councils and The Anatomy of Wages," Working Paper series 13_07, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jul 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:13_07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Uwe JIRJAHN & Stephen C. SMITH, 2018. "Nonunion Employee Representation: Theory And The German Experience With Mandated Works Councils," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(1), pages 201-233, March.
    2. Samuel Muehlemann & Harald Pfeifer, 2016. "The Structure of Hiring Costs in Germany: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 193-218, April.
    3. Hirsch, Boris & Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus, 2009. "Work councils and separations: voice, monopoly, and insurance effects," Discussion Papers 62, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    4. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Thomas Zwick, 2009. "Rent Seeking at Plant Level: An Application of the Card-De la Rica Tenure Model to Workers in German Works Councils," Working Paper series 12_09, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    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. Boris Hirsch & Thomas Zwick, 2015. "How Selective Are Real Wage Cuts? A Micro-analysis Using Linked Employer–Employee Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(4), pages 327-347, December.
    7. Cecilia Navarra & Ermanno Tortia, 2014. "Employer Moral Hazard, Wage Rigidity, and Worker Cooperatives: A Theoretical Appraisal," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(3), pages 707-726.
    8. Boris Hirsch & Steffen Müller, 2018. "Firm Wage Premia, Industrial Relations, and Rent Sharing in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 6890, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Uwe Jirjahn, 2015. "Research on Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining in Germany: The Contribution of Labor Economics," Research Papers in Economics 2015-10, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    10. Daniel Arnold & Tobias Brändle & Laszlo Goerke, 2014. "Sickness Absence and Works Councils - Evidence from German Individual and Linked Employer-Employee Data," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201410, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    11. Christian Grund & Andreas Schmitt, 2013. "Works councils, wages and job satisfaction," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 299-310, January.
    12. Harald Pfeifer, 2014. "Absenteeism in Apprenticeships: What Role Do Works Councils Play?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0098, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Aug 2015.
    13. Arnold, Daniel & Brändle, Tobias & Goerke, Laszlo, 2013. "Sickness Absence, Works Councils, and Personnel Problems. Evidence from German Individual and Linked Employer-Employee Data," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79906, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. repec:bla:brjirl:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:372-395 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Laszlo Goerke & Sabrina Jeworrek, 2016. "Paid Vacation Use - The Role of Works Councils," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201601, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    16. Mark Harcourt & Helen Lam & Richard Croucher, 2015. "The right-to-manage default rule," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 222-235, May.
    17. Steffen Mueller & Jens Stegmaier, 2017. "The Dynamic Effects of Works Councils on Labour Productivity: First Evidence from Panel Data," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 55(2), pages 372-395, June.
    18. Grund, Christian & Martin, Johannes, 2017. "The Role of Works Councils for Severance Payments," IZA Discussion Papers 10750, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Ben Kriechel & Samuel Muehlemann & Harald Pfeifer & Miriam Schuette, 2011. "Works councils, collective bargaining and apprenticeship training," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0057, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    20. Kerndler, Martin, 2017. "Wage flexibility of older workers and the role of institutions - evidence from the German LIAB data set," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168160, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    21. Müller, Steffen & Stegmaier, Jens, 2017. "Why is there resistance to works councils in Germany? An economic perspective," IWH Discussion Papers 23/2017, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    22. Uwe Jirjahn, 2016. "Works Councils and Employer Attitudes toward the Incentive Effects of HRM Practices," Research Papers in Economics 2016-07, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    23. Burdín, Gabriel & Pérotin, Virginie, 2016. "Employee Representation and Flexible Working Time," IZA Discussion Papers 10437, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    matched employer-employee data; rent seeking; tenure; wages; wage distribution; works councils; collective bargaining;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General

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