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Works council introductions: Do they reflect workers' voice?

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  • Oberfichtner, Michael

Abstract

Using a large linked employer-employee dataset from Germany, the author investigates workers' decision to introduce a works council as an exit-voice consideration. Thereby, the author explores the collective voice face of introductions, while previous studies focus on the monopoly aspect. Controlling for unobserved plant heterogeneity, council introductions are more likely if workers have high plant-specific human capital or earn high wages, whereas no association between the labor market situation and introductions shows up. The findings on human capital and wages are consistent with the idea that workers trade off introducing a council against exit as well as with workers trying to protect an existing distribution of rents. Redoing the analysis for a sample of plants in which it is less relevant for workers to protect themselves against management decisions yields similar results supporting the voice interpretation.

Suggested Citation

  • Oberfichtner, Michael, 2013. "Works council introductions: Do they reflect workers' voice?," Discussion Papers 83, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:faulre:83
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hirsch, Boris & Merkl, Christian & Müller, Steffen & Schnabel, Claus, 2014. "Centralized vs. Decentralized Wage Formation: The Role of Firms' Production Technology," IZA Discussion Papers 8242, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Schnabel Claus, 2016. "United, Yet Apart? A Note on Persistent Labour Market Differences between Western and Eastern Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 236(2), pages 157-179, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    co-determination; works councils; works council introductions; workers' voice;

    JEL classification:

    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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