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A Cartel Analysis of the German Labor Institutions and Its Implications for Labor Market Reforms

  • Justus Haucap


  • Uwe Pauly


  • Christian Wey


This paper offers a cartel explanation for the stability of German collective bargaining institutions.We show that a dense net of legal safeguards has been yarned around the wage setting cartel. These measures make deviation by cartel insiders less attractive and simultaneously erect entry barriers for alternative unions. As we argue many recent labor policy measures, which make wages more flexible, serve to further stabilize the labor cartel, while truly pro-competitive proposals have not been implemented exactly because of their destabilizing effects.We propose policy measures that remove entry barriers and facilitate outside competition by alternative collective bargaining organizations.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0009.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0009
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Eric Posner, 2003. "Four Economic Perspectives on American Labor Law and the Problem of Social Conflict," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(1), pages 101-, March.
  2. Reinhard Selten, 1973. "A Simple Model of Imperfect Competition, where 4 are Few and 6 are Many," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 008, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
  3. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Franz, Wolfgang, 1999. "Der Flächentarifvertrag: Eine kritische Würdigung aus ökonomischer Sicht," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-57, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Justus Haucap & Christian Wey, 2004. "Unionisation Structures and Innovation Incentives," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 398, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. repec:mhr:btrord:urn:isbn:9783161459610 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Horst Siebert, 1997. "Labor Market Rigidities: At the Root of Unemployment in Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 37-54, Summer.
  7. Kohaut, Susanne & Schnabel, Claus, 2001. "Tarifverträge - nein danke!? Einflussfaktoren der Tarifbindung west- und ostdeutscher Betriebe," Discussion Papers 8, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  8. Justus Haucap & Christian Wey & Uwe Pauly, 1999. "The Incentives of Employers’ Associations to Raise Rivals’ Costs in the Presence of Collective Bargaining," CIG Working Papers FS IV 99-06, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  9. Phlips,Louis, 1995. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521498715.
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