Professor Dr Boris Hirsch

Professor Dr Boris Hirsch
Current Position

since 12/16

Research Fellow Department of Structural Change and Productivity

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

since 08/16

Professor of Economics

Leuphana University of Lüneburg

 

Research Interests

  • labour markets
  • industrial relations
  • empirical labour economics

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Professor Dr Boris Hirsch
Professor Dr Boris Hirsch
- Department Structural Change and Productivity
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Publications

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Organized Labor, Labor Market Imperfections, and Employer Wage Premia

Sabien Dobbelaere Boris Hirsch Steffen Müller Georg Neuschäffer

in: ILR Review, No. 3, 2024

Abstract

This article examines how collective bargaining through unions and workplace codetermination through works councils relate to labor market imperfections and how labor market imperfections relate to employer wage premia. Based on representative German plant data for the years 1999-2016, the authors document that 70% of employers pay wages below the marginal revenue product of labor and 30% pay wages above that level. Findings further show that the prevalence of wage markdowns is significantly smaller when organized labor is present, and that the ratio of wages to the marginal revenue product of labor is significantly larger. Finally, the authors document a close link between labor market imperfections and mean employer wage premia, that is, wage differences between employers corrected for worker sorting.

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Unions as Insurance: Workplace Unionization and Workers' Outcomes During COVID-19

Nils Braakmann Boris Hirsch

in: Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, No. 2, 2024

Abstract

We investigate to what extent workplace unionization protects workers from external shocks by preventing involuntary job separations. Using the COVID-19 pandemic as a plausibly exogenous shock hitting the whole economy, we compare workers who worked in unionized and non-unionized workplaces directly before the pandemic in a difference-in-differences framework. We find that unionized workers were substantially more likely to remain working for their pre-COVID employer and to be in employment. This greater employment stability was not traded off against lower working hours or labor income.

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Uncovered Workers in Plants Covered by Collective Bargaining: Who Are They and How Do They Fare?

Boris Hirsch Philipp Lentge Claus Schnabel

in: British Journal of Industrial Relations, No. 4, 2022

Abstract

Abstract In Germany, employers used to pay union members and non-members in a plant the same union wage in order to prevent workers from joining unions. Using recent administrative data, we investigate which workers in firms covered by collective bargaining agreements still individually benefit from these union agreements, which workers are not covered anymore and what this means for their wages. We show that about 9 per cent of workers in plants with collective agreements do not enjoy individual coverage (and thus the union wage) anymore. Econometric analyses with unconditional quantile regressions and firm-fixed-effects estimations demonstrate that not being individually covered by a collective agreement has serious wage implications for most workers. Low-wage non-union workers and those at low hierarchy levels particularly suffer since employers abstain from extending union wages to them in order to pay lower wages. This jeopardizes unions' goal of protecting all disadvantaged workers.

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