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Works Councils and Collective Bargaining in Germany: A Simple but Crucial Theoretical Extension

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  • Uwe Jirjahn

Abstract

A model by Huebler and Jirjahn (2003) suggests that rent-seeking activities of works councils are more limited in establishments covered by collective bargaining. The model predicts that works councils should have a stronger productivity effect and a weaker wage effect in covered than in uncovered establishments. While empirical studies have provided supporting evidence for the predicted productivity effects, the results on the wage effects of works councils in covered and uncovered establishments are very mixed. This article extends Huebler and Jirjahn’s model to reconcile the empirical findings. The extended model takes into account that collective bargaining coverage not only limits the opportunities for rent-seeking activities but also strengthens the effectiveness of performance-enhancing work practices negotiated between employers and works councils. The latter influence of collective bargaining coverage can result in a higher wage effect of works councils in covered establishments.

Suggested Citation

  • Uwe Jirjahn, 2014. "Works Councils and Collective Bargaining in Germany: A Simple but Crucial Theoretical Extension," Research Papers in Economics 2014-13, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:trr:wpaper:201413
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2015. "The German Labor Market for Older Workers in Comparative Perspective," Research Papers in Economics 2015-02, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    3. John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2016. "The hiring and employment of older workers in Germany: a comparative perspective
      [Die Beschäftigung und Neueinstellung älterer Arbeitnehmer in Deutschland: Eine vergleichende Perspektive]
      ," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 49(4), pages 349-366, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Works Council; Collective Bargaining Coverage; Productivity; Wages;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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