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Institutional change in the German wage bargaining system: The role of big companies

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  • Hassel, Anke
  • Rehder, Britta

Abstract

Despite the emergence of new production systems, Europeanization and economic internationalization, the national arrangements of wage bargaining systems have not been eroded. The paper highlights the factors that counteract the pressures for a straightforward decentralization with reference to Germany. Firstly, the maintenance of peaceful labour relations is a major advantage for big companies in centralized wage bargaining systems. Secondly, big companies have been able to achieve labour cost control and the differentiation of working conditions by drawing up pacts for employment and competitiveness at the company level. Thirdly, they have succeeded in introducing a higher degree of flexibility into the collective agreement framework. The main argument will be that institutional change has taken other forms than expected. Whereas the formal institutional setting has remained relatively stable, the functioning of the German wage bargaining system has changed.

Suggested Citation

  • Hassel, Anke & Rehder, Britta, 2001. "Institutional change in the German wage bargaining system: The role of big companies," MPIfG Working Paper 01/9, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgw:019
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Dustmann & Bernd Fitzenberger & Uta Sch?nberg & Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2014. "From Sick Man of Europe to Economic Superstar: Germany's Resurgent Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 167-188, Winter.
    2. Anke Hassel, 2014. "Adjustments in the Eurozone: Varieties of Capitalism and the Crisis in Southern Europe," Europe in Question Discussion Paper Series of the London School of Economics (LEQs) 6, London School of Economics / European Institute.
    3. Eichhorst, Werner & Marx, Paul, 2009. "Reforming German Labor Market Institutions: A Dual Path to Flexibility," IZA Discussion Papers 4100, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Gregory Jackson & Martin Hopner & Antje Kurdelbusch, 2004. "Corporate Governance and Employees in Germany: Changing Linkages, Complementarities, and Tensions," Discussion papers 04008, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    5. Damiani, Mirella & Pompei, Fabrizio, 2009. "Labour protection and productivity in the European economies: 1995-2005," MPRA Paper 12710, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Dezentralisierung der Lohnverhandlungen in Deutschland - ein Weg zu mehr Beschäftigung?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 58(05), pages 07-18, March.
    7. Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Decentralizing Wage Bargaining in Germany - A Way to Increase Employment?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(1), pages 91-121, March.
    8. William K. Roche & Paul Teague, 2015. "Antecedents of concession bargaining in the Great Recession: evidence from Ireland," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(5-6), pages 434-445, November.
    9. Anke Hassel, 2014. "The Paradox of Liberalization — Understanding Dualism and the Recovery of the German Political Economy," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 52(1), pages 57-81, March.
    10. Lütz, Susanne, 2003. "Governance in der politischen Ökonomie," MPIfG Discussion Paper 03/5, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    11. Virginia Doellgast & Ian Greer, 2007. "Vertical Disintegration and the Disorganization of German Industrial Relations-super-1," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(1), pages 55-76, March.
    12. Bellmann Lutz & Gerlach Knut & Meyer Wolfgang, 2008. "Company-Level Pacts for Employment," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(5-6), pages 533-553, October.
    13. Bellmann, Lutz & Gerner, Hans-Dieter & Hübler, Olaf, 2013. "Investment under Company-Level Pacts," IZA Discussion Papers 7195, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Decentralizing Wage Bargaining in Germany - A Way to Increase Employment?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(1), pages 91-121, March.
    15. Anke Hassel, 2014. "Adjustments in the Eurozone: Varieties of Capitalism and the Crisis in Southern Europe," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 76, European Institute, LSE.

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