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How representative are social partners in Europe? The role of dissimilarity

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  • Martínez Matute, Marta
  • Martins, Pedro S.

Abstract

Social partners (trade unions and employers' associations) shape labour institutions and economic and social outcomes in many countries. In this paper, we argue that, when examining social partners' representativeness, it is important to consider both affiliation and dissimilarity measures. The latter concerns the extent to which affiliated and non- affiliated firms or workers are distributed similarly across relevant dimensions, including firm size. In our analysis of European Company Survey data, we find that affiliation and dissimilarity measures correlate positively across countries, particularly in the case of employers' associations. This result also holds across employers' associations when we use firm population data for Portugal. Overall, we conclude that higher affiliation rates do not necessarily equate to more representative social partners as they can involve greater dissimilarity between affiliated and non-affiliated firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Martínez Matute, Marta & Martins, Pedro S., 2020. "How representative are social partners in Europe? The role of dissimilarity," GLO Discussion Paper Series 718, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:718
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jirjahn, Uwe, 2021. "Membership in Employers' Associations and Collective Bargaining Coverage in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 14783, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Jirjahn, Uwe, 2021. "Membership in Employers' Associations and Collective Bargaining Coverage in Germany," GLO Discussion Paper Series 954, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Bernardo Fanfani & Claudio Lucifora & Daria Vigani, 2021. "Employer Association in Italy. Trends and Economic Outcomes," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def109, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employers' Associations; Social Dialogue; Collective Bargaining;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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