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Worker participation in decision-making, worker sorting, and firm performance

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  • Müller, Steffen
  • Neuschäffer, Georg

Abstract

Worker participation in decision-making is often associated with high-wage and high-productivity firm strategies. Using linked-employer-employee data for Germany and worker fixed effects from a two-way fixed effects model of wages capturing observed and unobserved worker quality, we find that establishments with formal worker participation via works councils indeed employ higher-quality workers. We show that worker quality is already higher in plants before council introduction and further increases after the introduction. Importantly, we corroborate previous studies by showing positive productivity and profitability effects even after taking into account worker sorting.

Suggested Citation

  • Müller, Steffen & Neuschäffer, Georg, 2020. "Worker participation in decision-making, worker sorting, and firm performance," IWH Discussion Papers 11/2020, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwhdps:112020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Addison, John T. & Teixeira, Paulino & Zwick, Thomas, 2006. "Works Councils and the Anatomy of Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 2474, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. 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.
    3. Andrews, M.J. & Gill, L. & Schank, T. & Upward, R., 2012. "High wage workers match with high wage firms: Clear evidence of the effects of limited mobility bias," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 824-827.
    4. Rafael Lopes de Melo, 2018. "Firm Wage Differentials and Labor Market Sorting: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(1), pages 313-346.
    5. Jörg Heining & Wolfram Klosterhuber & Stefan Seth, 2014. "An Overview on the Linked Employer-Employee Data of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB)," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 134(1), pages 141-148.
    6. Müller, Steffen, 2017. "Capital stock approximation with the perpetual inventory method: An update," FDZ Methodenreport 201705_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    7. Steffen Mueller & Jens Stegmaier, 2017. "The Dynamic Effects of Works Councils on Labour Productivity: First Evidence from Panel Data," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 55(2), pages 372-395, June.
    8. Olaf Hübler & 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Stéphane Bonhomme & Thibaut Lamadon & Elena Manresa, 2019. "A Distributional Framework for Matched Employer Employee Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(3), pages 699-739, May.
    11. Adam Julian B., 2019. "Voluntary Quits: Do Works Councils Matter? An Analysis of the Reform of the German Works Constitution Act 2001," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 239(1), pages 67-109, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    works councils; worker sorting; worker quality; between-firm wage inequality; productivity; profits;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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