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Works councils and the anatomy of wages

  • Addison, John T.
  • Teixeira, Paulino
  • Zwick, Thomas

This paper provides the first full examination of the effect of German works councils on wages using matched employer-employee data (specifically, the LIAB for 2001). We find that works councils are associated with higher earnings. The wage premium is around 11 percent (and is higher under collective bargaining). This result persists after taking account of worker and establishment heterogeneity and the endogeneity of works council presence. Next, using quantile regressions, we find that the works council premium is decreasing with the position of the worker in the wage distribution. And it is also higher for women than for men. Finally, the works council wage premium is associated with longer job tenure. This suggests that some of the premium is a noncompetitive rent, even if works council voice may dominate its distributive effects insofar as tenure is concerned.

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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 06-86.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5479
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  1. 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, 06.
  2. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "The Long Awaited Reform of the German Works Constitution Act," IZA Discussion Papers 422, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Card, David & de la Rica, Sara, 2004. "The Effect of Firm-Level Contracts on the Structure of Wages: Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1421, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Horn, Henrik & Svensson, Lars E O, 1986. "Trade Unions and Optimal Labour Contracts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 323-41, June.
  6. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "The reform of the German works constitution act: a critical assessment," Discussion Papers 16, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  7. FitzRoy, Felix R & Kraft, Kornelius, 1985. "Unionization, Wages and Efficiency: Theories and Evidence from the U.S. and West Germany," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 537-54.
  8. Joan Muysken & Thomas Zwick, 2006. "Wage Divergence and Unemployment: The Impact of Wage Setting Power and Training Costs," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 126(1), pages 1-19.
  9. Freeman, Richard B, 1980. "The Exit-Voice Tradeoff in the Labor Market: Unionism, Job Tenure, Quits, and Separations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 643-73, June.
  10. 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.
  11. Kölling, Arnd & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "Establishment Age and Wages: Evidence from German Linked Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 679, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Farber, Henry S, 1994. "The Analysis of Interfirm Worker Mobility," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(4), pages 554-93, October.
  13. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "The (Parlous) State of German Unions," Working Paper Series in Economics 23, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  14. Alda, Holger, 2005. "Datenbeschreibung der Version 1 des LIAB-Längsschnittmodells (LIAB Longitudinal Model Version 1 - Data Description)," FDZ Datenreport. Documentation on Labour Market Data 200503_de, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  15. Gesine Stephan & Knut Gerlach, 2005. "Wage settlements and wage setting: results from a multi-level model," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(20), pages 2297-2306.
  16. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  17. Horst Siebert, 1997. "Labor Market Rigidities: At the Root of Unemployment in Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 37-54, Summer.
  18. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira, 2005. "The Effect of Works Councils on Employment Change," GEMF Working Papers 2005-06, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
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