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How bargaining mediates wage determination: An exploration of the parameters of wage functions in a pooled time-series cross-section framework


  • Kittel, Bernhard


The process of wage determination is mediated by the institutional framework of the labor market. Bargaining systems differ not only in their mode of governance, but also in the way that wages are related to unemployment, inflation, and productivity growth. Based on annual data for the period 1971-1996 from 20 OECD countries, the paper uses a pooled time-series cross-section model to show that bargaining modes affect the speed at which wages are adjusted and the extent to which macroeconomic factors affect wages. Contrary to the expectations of mainstream economics, uncoordinated bargaining does not turn out to be the most flexible mode. Pattern setting and peak-level coordination, if legally enforceable, are modes of labor market governance that are at least as flexible and responsive, if not more so. Hence these labor market institutions cannot be blamed for excessive rigidity.

Suggested Citation

  • Kittel, Bernhard, 2001. "How bargaining mediates wage determination: An exploration of the parameters of wage functions in a pooled time-series cross-section framework," MPIfG Discussion Paper 01/3, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:013

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Moene, K.O. & Wallerstein, M. & Hoel, M., 1992. "Bargaining Structure and Economic Performance," Memorandum 10/1992, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
    3. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
    4. Newbery, David M & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "Wage Rigidity, Implicit Contracts, Unemployment and Economic Efficiency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(386), pages 416-430, June.
    5. Kenworthy, Lane, 2000. "Quantitative indicators of corporatism: A survey and assessment," MPIfG Discussion Paper 00/4, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    6. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kemmerling, Achim, 2002. "The employment effects of different regimes of welfare state taxation: An empirical analysis of core OECD countries," MPIfG Discussion Paper 02/8, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    2. Rusinova, Desislava & Lipatov, Vilen & Heinz, Frigyes Ferdinand, 2015. "How flexible are real wages in EU countries? A panel investigation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 140-154.

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