IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wzb/wzebiv/fsiv02-10.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Unionization Structures and Firms' Incentives for Productivity Enhancing Investments

Author

Listed:
  • Justus Haucap
  • Christian Wey

Abstract

This paper examines how unionization structures that differ in the degree of wage centralization affect firms' incentives to increase labor productivity. We distinguish three modes of unionization with increasing degree of centralization: (1) "Decentralization" where wages are determined independently at the firm-level, (2) "coordination" where an industry union sets individual wages for all firms at the firmlevel, and (3) "centralization" where a uniform wage rate is set for the entire industry. We show that firms' investment incentives are largest under complete centralization. However, investment incentives are non-monotone in the degree of centralization so that "decentralization" carries higher investment incentives than "coordination." Depending on the innovation outcome, workers' wage bill is maximized under "centralization" if firms' productivity differences remain small. Otherwise, workers prefer an intermediate degree of centralization, which holds innovative activity down at its lowest level. Labor market policy can spur innovation by either decentralizing unionization structures or by imposing non-discrimination rules on monopoly unions. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Gewerkschaftssysteme und die Anreize der Unternehmen zur Produktivitätssteigerung) Diese Arbeit untersucht den Einfluß unterschiedlicher Gewerkschaftssysteme auf die Anreize von Unternehmen, ihre Arbeitsproduktivität zu erhöhen. Wir unterscheiden zwischen drei Gewerkschaftsstrukturen mit zunehmendem Zentralisierungsgrad: 1.) "Dezentrale Lohnsetzung", bei der Löhne ohne zentrale Koordination auf Unternehmensebene bestimmt werden, 2.) "koordinierte Lohnsetzung", bei der eine Industriegewerkschaft die Lohnforderungen gegenüber einzelnen Arbeitgebern koordiniert und 3.) "zentralisierte Lohnsetzung", bei der ein einheitlicher Lohnsatz für die gesamte Industrie bestimmt wird. Wir zeigen, daß die Investitionsanreize der Unternehmen bei "zentralisierter Lohnsetzung" am stärksten sind. Die Investitionsanreize sind allerdings nicht monoton im Zentralisierungsgrad: "Dezentralisierte Lohnsetzung" führt zu stärkeren Investitionsanreizen als "koordinierte Lohnsetzung". Die Lohnsumme ist in einem zentralisierten Gewerkschaftssystem maximal, solange die Innovationen hinreichend "klein" sind, so daß die Unterschiede in der Produktivität zwischen den Unternehmen gering bleiben. Bei "großen" Innovationen bevorzugen Arbeitnehmer hingegen eine "koordinierte Lohnsetzung", wodurch die Innovationstätigkeit der Unternehmen auf ihr niedrigstes Niveau gedrückt wird. Arbeitsmarktpolitik kann die Innovationsanreize entweder durch eine Dezentralisierung der Lohnsetzung oder durch Diskriminierungsverbote für Monopolgewerkschaften erhöhen.

Suggested Citation

  • Justus Haucap & Christian Wey, 2002. "Unionization Structures and Firms' Incentives for Productivity Enhancing Investments," CIG Working Papers FS IV 02-10, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  • Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:fsiv02-10
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://skylla.wz-berlin.de/pdf/2002/iv02-10.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hibbs, Douglas A, Jr & Locking, Hakan, 2000. "Wage Dispersion and Productive Efficiency: Evidence for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 755-782, October.
    2. Ulph, A. M. & Ulph, D. T., 1994. "Labour markets and innovation: Ex-post bargaining," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 195-210, January.
    3. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1978. "Trade Unions in the Production Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 355-378, June.
    4. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-193.
    5. Moene, Karl Ove & Wallerstein, Michael, 1997. "Pay Inequality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 403-430, July.
    6. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    7. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 1999. "Institutions and laws in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1399-1461 Elsevier.
    8. Oswald, Andrew J & Turnbull, Peter J, 1985. "Pay and Employment Determination in Britain: What Are Labour," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 80-97, Summer.
    9. Menezes-Filho, Naercio & Ulph, David & Van Reenen, John, 1998. "The determination of R&D: Empirical evidence on the role of unions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 919-930, May.
    10. Haucap, Justus & Pauly, Uwe & Wey, Christian, 2001. "Collective wage setting when wages are generally binding An antitrust perspective," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 287-307, September.
    11. Agell, Jonas & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1993. " Egalitarianism and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 559-579, December.
    12. Siebert, Horst, 1997. "Labor market rigidities and unemployment in Europe," Kiel Working Papers 787, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    13. Connolly, Robert A & Hirsch, Barry T & Hirschey, Mark, 1986. "Union Rent Seeking, Intangible Capital, and Market Value of the Firm," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 567-577, November.
    14. Büttner, Thiess & Fitzenberger, Bernd, 1998. "Central wage bargaining and local wage flexibility: evidence from the entire wage distribution," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-39, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    15. Bester, Helmut & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 1993. "The incentives for cost reduction in a differentiated industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 519-534.
    16. 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.
    17. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 2001. "Centralized bargaining and reorganized work: Are they compatible?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1851-1875, December.
    18. Kleinknecht, Alfred, 1998. "Is Labour Market Flexibility Harmful to Innovation?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(3), pages 387-396, May.
    19. Charles W. Baird, 2000. "Unions and Antitrust," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 21(4), pages 585-600, October.
    20. John T. Addison & Joachim Wagner, 1994. "UK Unionism and Innovative Activity: Some Cautionary Remarks on the Basis of a Simple Cross-country Test," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 85-98, March.
    21. 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.
    22. Tauman, Y & Weiss, Y, 1987. "Labor Unions and the Adoption of New Technology," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 477-501, October.
    23. Addison, John T & Hirsch, Barry T, 1989. "Union Effects on Productivity, Profits, and Growth: Has the Long Run Arrived?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 72-105, January.
    24. DeGraba, Patrick, 1990. "Input Market Price Discrimination and the Choice of Technology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1246-1253, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Justus Haucap & Christian Wey, 2004. "Unionisation structures and innovation incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages 149-165, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unions; Oligopoly; Innovation; Productivity; Wage-Setting Centralization; Labor Market Flexibility;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:fsiv02-10. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jennifer Rontganger). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cicwzde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.