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Firm Heterogeneity and Wages Under Different Bargaining Regimes: Does a Centralised Union Care for Low-productivity Firms?

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  • Gürtzgen, Nicole

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between wages and the degree of firm heterogeneity in a given industry under different wage setting structures. To derive testable hypotheses, we set up a theoretical model that analyses the sensitivity of wages to the variability in productivity conditions in a unionsised oligopoly framework. The model distinguishes centralised and decentralised wage determination. The theoretical results predict wages to be negatively associated with the degree of firm heterogeneity under centralised wage-setting, as unions internalise negative externalities of a wage increase for low-productivity firms. We test this prediction using a linked employeremployee panel data set from the German mining and manufacturing sector. Consistent with our hypotheses, the empirical results suggest that under industry-level bargaining workers in more heterogeneous sectors receive lower wages than workers in more homogeneous sectors. In contrast, the degree of firm heterogeneity is found to have no negative impact on wages in uncovered firms and under firm-level contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Gürtzgen, Nicole, 2009. "Firm Heterogeneity and Wages Under Different Bargaining Regimes: Does a Centralised Union Care for Low-productivity Firms?," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-130, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7520
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Justus Haucap & Christian Wey, 2004. "Unionisation structures and innovation incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages 149-165, March.
    2. Bernd Fitzenberger & Karsten Kohn & Alexander C. Lembcke, 2013. "Union Density and Varieties of Coverage: The Anatomy of Union Wage Effects in Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(1), pages 169-197, January.
    3. Moene, K.O. & Wallerstein, M. & Hoel, M., 1992. "Bargaining Structure and Economic Performance," Memorandum 10/1992, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    4. 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 437-457, September.
    5. Hoel, Michael, 1991. "Union Wage Policy: The Importance of Labour Mobility and the Degree of Centralization," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(230), pages 139-153, May.
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    10. Holger Alda & Stefan Bender & Hermann Gartner, 2005. "European Data Watch: The linked employer-employee dataset created from the IAB establishment panel and the process-produced data of the IAB (LIAB)," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(2), pages 327-336.
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    13. Lars Calmfors, 2001. "Wages and Wage-Bargaining Institutions in the EMU – A Survey of the Issues," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 325-351, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Huber & Harald Oberhofer & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2012. "Who Creates Jobs? Estimating Job Creation Rates at the Firm Level," WIFO Working Papers 435, WIFO.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wage-Setting Structure; Unions; Oligopoly; Linked Employer-Employee Data;

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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