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The course of research into the economic consequences of German works councils

Author

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  • Addison, John T.
  • Schnabel, Claus
  • Wagner, Joachim

Abstract

In a recent survey, Frege (2002) concludes that economic analysis of the works council has reached a `dead end´. The present treatment offers a different conclusion based on a more encompassing review of the evidence. It will identify three distinct phases in the economic analysis of codetermination at the workplace. While Frege just considered studies from the first two phases, it is the third phase of research that contains some of the most positive evaluations to date of works council impact. Even if such estimates appear much exaggerated and the effect of works councils is likely to be small on average, the new literature redirects our research effort towards the factors that produce swings around this average, including differences in works council types and their workplace environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Addison, John T. & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "The course of research into the economic consequences of German works councils," Discussion Papers 22, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:faulre:22
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    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. 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.
    5. Addison, John T & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 1996. "German Works Councils, Profits, and Innovation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 555-582.
    6. 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.
    7. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001. "How To Compete: The Impact Of Workplace Practices And Information Technology On Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 434-445, August.
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    9. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Thomas Zwick, 2006. "The Impact of Works Councils on Wages," GEMF Working Papers 2006-08, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    10. Olaf H¸bler & Uwe Jirjahn, 2003. "Works Councils and Collective Bargaining in Germany: The Impact on Productivity and Wages," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(4), pages 471-491, September.
    11. John T. Addison & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "Works Councils in the Production Process," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 126(2), pages 251-283.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
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    15. 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.
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    17. Carola M. Frege, 2002. "A Critical Assessment of the Theoretical and Empirical Research on German Works Councils," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 40(2), pages 221-248, June.
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    Keywords

    Works council; codetermination; Germany;

    JEL classification:

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

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