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German works councils in the production process

Author

Listed:
  • Addison, John T.
  • Schank, Thorsten
  • Schnabel, Claus
  • Wagner, Joachim

Abstract

We estimate the effects of works councils on productivity, 1997-2000, using the IAB Establishment Panel, a nationally representative German data set. We recoup the works council effect by estimating translog production functions, stochastic frontier production functions, and a model in first differences. Once we focus on a core sample of establishments with 21 to 100 employees in which the powers of the works council are a datum, it emerges that the positive productivity differential found in recent studies is a chimera. By the same token, neither is the works council effect negative. This result is important in its own right given the sharply opposing findings of past empirical research and the partisan positions these have helped sustain.

Suggested Citation

  • Addison, John T. & Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "German works councils in the production process," Discussion Papers 21, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:faulre:21
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2004. "The Course of Research into the Economic Consequences of German Works Councils," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 255-281, June.
    2. Zwick, Thomas & Wolf, Elke, 2002. "Reassessing the Impact of High Performance Workplaces," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-07, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    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. Addison, John T & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2001. "Work Councils in Germany: Their Effects on Establishment Performance," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 659-694, October.
    5. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "The reform of the German works constitution act: a critical assessment," Discussion Papers 16, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    6. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
    7. Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C, 1984. "Production Frontiers and Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 367-374, October.
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    9. Richard B. Freeman & Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Works Councils," NBER Chapters,in: Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations, pages 27-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. FitzRoy, Felix R & Kraft, Kornelius, 1985. "Unionization, Wages and Efficiency: Theories and Evidence from the U.S. and West Germany," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 537-554.
    11. John T. Addison & Lutz Bellmann & Arnd Kölling, 2004. "Works Councils and Plant Closings in Germany," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 125-148, March.
    12. Addison, John T & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 1996. "German Works Councils, Profits, and Innovation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 555-582.
    13. Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2004. "Works councils - sand or grease in the operation of German firms?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 159-161.
    14. Fitzroy, Felix R & Kraft, Kornelius, 1987. "Efficiency and Internal Organization: Works Councils in West German Firms," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 54(216), pages 493-504, November.
    15. Oliver E. Williamson & Michael L. Wachter & Jeffrey E. Harris, 1975. "Understanding the Employment Relation: The Analysis of Idiosyncratic Exchange," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(1), pages 250-278, Spring.
    16. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
    17. Freeman, Richard B, 1976. "Individual Mobility and Union Voice in the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 361-368, May.
    18. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "The Long Awaited Reform of the German Works Constitution Act," IZA Discussion Papers 422, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. FitzRoy, Felix R. & Kraft, Kornelius, 1995. "On the choice of incentives in firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 145-160, January.
    20. Denny, Michael & Fuss, Melvyn A, 1977. "The Use of Approximation Analysis to Test for Separability and the Existence of Consistent Aggregates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 404-418, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jensen, Uwe & Rässler, Susanne, 2006. "Stochastic production frontiers with multiply imputed German establishment data," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 39(2), pages 277-295.
    2. Kohaut, Susanne & Schnabel, Claus, 2003. "Verbreitung, Ausmaß und Determinanten der übertariflichen Entlohnung," Discussion Papers 23, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    3. John Addison & Lutz Bellmann & Thorsten Schank & Paulino Teixeira, 2008. "The Demand for Labor: An Analysis Using Matched Employer–Employee Data from the German LIAB. Will the High Unskilled Worker Own-Wage Elasticity Please Stand Up?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 114-137, June.
    4. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:39:i:2:p:277-295 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Uwe Jirjahn & Steffen Mueller, 2014. "Non-union worker representation, foreign owners, and the performance of establishments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 140-163, January.
    6. repec:iab:iabmit:v:36:i:4:p:649-660 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Stephan Veen, 2008. "The Impact of Workforce Age Heterogeneity on Company Productivity," Working Papers 0078, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Sep 2009.
    8. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2004. "The Course of Research into the Economic Consequences of German Works Councils," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 255-281, June.
    9. Zwick, Thomas, 2004. "Employee participation and productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 715-740, December.
    10. Addison, John T., 2005. "The Determinants of Firm Performance: Unions, Works Councils, and Employee Involvement/High Performance Work Practices," IZA Discussion Papers 1620, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Jirjahn, Uwe, 2003. "Betriebsräte, Tarifverträge und betriebliches Lohnniveau (Works councils, wage agreements and the company wage level)," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 36(4), pages 649-660.
    12. Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Exporte und Produktivität in mittelständischen Betrieben Befunde aus der niedersächsischen Industrie (1995 – 2004)," Working Paper Series in Economics 11, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    13. Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus, 2004. "Betriebliche Determinanten des Überstundeneinsatzes," Discussion Papers 24, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    14. Jensen, Uwe & Rässler, Susanne, 2007. "The effects of collective bargaining on firm performance : new evidence based on stochastic production frontiers and multiply imputed German establishment data," IAB-Forschungsbericht 200703, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    15. Schnabel, Claus, 2006. "Verbetrieblichung der Lohnfindung und der Festlegung von Arbeitsbedingungen," Arbeitspapiere 118, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Düsseldorf.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Works council; production functions; panel data; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General

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