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Rent-sharing : Does the Bargaining Regime Make a Difference? Theory and Empirical Evidence

  • Gürtzgen, Nicole

This paper analyses whether wages in Germany respond to firm-specific profitability conditions. Particular emphasis lies on the question of whether the extent of rent-sharing varies across different systems of wage determination. Those may be categorised into sector-specific wage agreements, firm-specific wage agreements and wage determination without any bargaining coverage. To derive testable hypotheses, we set up a theoretical model that analyses the sensitivity of wages to firm-specific conditions under different wage setting structures. The hypotheses are tested using an establishment-level panel data set from the mining and manufacturing sector. The results of the empirical analysis generally suggest that rent-sharing is present in Germany. However, the extent of rent-sharing is found to be significantly lower in establishments that are subject to a collective wage agreement - irrespective of whether the agreement is industry- or firm-specific. While pooled OLS estimates yield positive estimates of the rent-sharing coefficient in establishments that are covered by a collective contract, SYS-GMM-estimates accounting for unobserved heterogeneity and endogeneity of rents point to a rent-sharing coefficient of zero.

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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 05-15.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:2905
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  1. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
  2. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Franz, Wolfgang, 1999. "Industry-Level Wage Bargaining: A Partial Rehabilitation--The German Experience," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 46(4), pages 437-57, September.
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  8. 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.
  9. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," NBER Working Papers 4917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Olaf H¸bler & 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, 09.
  11. Haucap, Justus & Wey, Christian, 2003. "Unionisation Structures and Innovation Incentives," Working Paper 21/2003, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
  12. Arai, Mahmood, 1999. "Wages, Profits and Capital Intensity: Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Research Papers in Economics 1999:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  13. Andrew K.G. Hildreth and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Rent-Sharing and Wages: Evidence from Company and Establishment Panels," Economics Discussion Papers 425, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  14. Schmidt, Christoph M & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1991. "Work Characteristics, Firm Size and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 705-10, November.
  15. Steve Bond, 2002. "Dynamic panel data models: a guide to microdata methods and practice," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Van Reenen, John, 1996. "The Creation and Capture of Rents: Wages and Innovation in a Panel of U.K. Companies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 195-226, February.
  17. Corneo, Giacomo, 1995. "National wage bargaining in an internationally integrated product market," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 503-520, September.
  18. John M. Abowd & Thomas Lemieux, 1991. "The Effects of Product Market Competition on Collective Bargaining Agreements: The Case of Foreign Competition in Canada," NBER Working Papers 3808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Margolis, David N. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2001. "Do Firms Really Share Rents with Their Workers?," IZA Discussion Papers 330, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. David Margolis & Kjell G, Salvanes, 2001. "Do Firms Really Share Rents with their Workers," Working Papers 2001-16, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  21. Soskice, David, 1990. "Wage Determination: The Changing Role of Institutions in Advanced Industrialized Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 36-61, Winter.
  22. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  23. Dowrick, S., 1992. "Enterprise Bargaining, Union Structure and Wages," Papers 242, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  24. Wolfgang Franz & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2003. "Zur ökonomischen Rationalität von Lohnrigiditäten aus der Sicht von Unternehmen," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 223(1), pages 23-57.
  25. Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Decentralizing Wage Bargaining in Germany - A Way to Increase Employment?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(1), pages 91-121, 03.
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