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Works Councils and the Productivity Impact of Direct Employee Participation

  • Zwick, Thomas

This paper measures the productivity impact of management-led participative establishment practices. On the basis of a representative German establishment data set, the IAB establishment panel, the study finds that the presence of team-work, a reduction of hierarchies and autonomous work groups in 1997 significantly increases average establishment productivity in 1997 – 2000. An endogeneous switching regression model takes the endogeneity of work councils into account and shows that the productivity effect can only be measured in establishments with works councils, i.e. employee induced participation. The estimation strategy controls for unobserved time invariant establishment heterogeneity by using a two-step system GMM panel regression approach. It simultaneously controls for endogeneity of participative work organization by using instrument variable regressions.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 03-47.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:1356
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  1. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
  2. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001. "How To Compete: The Impact Of Workplace Practices And Information Technology On Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 434-445, August.
  3. Kochan, Thomas A., 1996. "What works at work : overview and assessment," Working papers 3886-96., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  4. Van Reenen, John & Caroli, Eve, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10093, Paris Dauphine University.
  5. Nickell, Stephen & Nicolitsas, Daphne & Patterson, Malcolm, 2001. " Does Doing Badly Encourage Management Innovation?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(1), pages 5-28, February.
  6. Richard B. Freeman & Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Works Councils," NBER Chapters, in: Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations, pages 27-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  9. Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond, 2000. "GMM Estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 321-340.
  10. Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1979. "The Two Faces of Unionism," NBER Working Papers 0364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Harhoff, Dietmar & Stahl, Konrad & Woywode, Michael, 1996. "Legal Form, Growth and Exit of West German Firms - Empirical Results for Manufacturing, Construction, Trade and Service Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1401, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. John Van Reenen, 2000. "Who gains when workers train? Training and corporate productivity in a panel of British industries," IFS Working Papers W00/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  13. Harvie Ramsay & Dora Scholarios & Bill Harley, 2000. "Employees and High-Performance Work Systems: Testing inside the Black Box," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 501-531, December.
  14. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
  15. Fitzroy, Felix R & Kraft, Kornelius, 1987. "Efficiency and Internal Organization: Works Councils in West German Firms," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 54(216), pages 493-504, November.
  16. John Addison & Stanley Siebert & Joachim Wagner & Xiangdong Wei, 2000. "Worker Participation and Firm Performance: Evidence from Germany and Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(1), pages 7-48, 03.
  17. Bauer, Thomas K., 2003. "Flexible Workplace Practices and Labor Productivity," IZA Discussion Papers 700, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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