Worker Participation in Decision-making, Worker Sorting, and Firm Performance
IWH Discussion Papers,
Worker participation in decision-making is often associated with high-wage and high-productivity firm strategies. Using linked-employer-employee data for Germany and worker fixed effects from a two-way fixed effects model of wages capturing observed and unobserved worker quality, we find that establishments with formal worker participation via works councils indeed employ higher-quality workers. We show that worker quality is already higher in plants before council introduction and further increases after the introduction. Importantly, we corroborate previous studies by showing positive productivity and profitability effects even after taking into account worker sorting.
Employment Effects of Introducing a Minimum Wage: The Case of Germany
Income inequality has been a major concern of economic policy makers for several years. Can minimum wages help to mitigate inequality? In 2015, the German government introduced a nationwide statutory minimum wage to reduce income inequality by improving the labour income of low-wage employees. However, the employment effects of wage increases depend on time and region specific conditions and, hence, they cannot be known in advance. Because negative employment effects may offset the income gains for low-wage employees, it is important to evaluate minimum-wage policies empirically. We estimate the employment effects of the German minimum-wage introduction using panel regressions on the state-industry-level. We find a robust negative effect of the minimum wage on marginal and a robust positive effect on regular employment. In terms of the number of jobs, our results imply a negative overall effect. Hence, low-wage employees who are still employed are better off at the expense of those who have lost their jobs due to the minimum wage.
Managerial Effect or Firm Effect: Evidence from the Private Debt Market
The Financial Review,
This paper provides evidence that the managerial effect is a key determinant of firms’ cost of capital, in the context of private debt contracting. Applying the novel empirical method developed by an earlier study to a large sample that tracks the job movement of top managers, we find that the managerial effect is a critical and significant factor that explains a large part of the variation in loan contract terms more accurately than firm fixed effects. Additional evidence shows that banks “follow” managers when they change jobs and offer loan contracts with preferential terms to their new firms.
Labor Market Power and the Distorting Effects of International Trade
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
This article examines how final product trade with China shapes and interacts with labor market imperfections that create market power in labor markets and prevent an efficient market outcome. I develop a framework for measuring such labor market power distortions in monetary terms and document large degrees of these distortions in Germany's manufacturing sector. Import competition only exerts labor market disciplining effects if firms, rather than employees, possess labor market power. Otherwise, increasing export demand and import competition both fortify existing distortions, which decreases labor market efficiency. This widens the gap between potential and realized output and thus diminishes classical gains from trade.
Economy Recovers from the Shutdown – But a Quick Return to Pre-crisis Normality is Unlikely The German economy has...
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Micro-mechanisms Behind Declining Labour Shares: Market Power, Production Processes, and Global Competition
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
This article investigates how changing production processes and increasing market power at the firm level relate to a fall in Germany’s manufacturing sector labour share. Coinciding with the fall of the labour share, I document a rise in firms’ product and labour market power. Notably, labour market power is a more relevant source of firms’ market power than product market power. Increasing product and labour market power, however, only account for 30% of the fall in the labour share. The remaining 70% are explained by a transition of firms towards less labour-intensive production activities. I study the role of final product trade in causing those secular movements. I find that rising foreign export demand contributes to a decline in the labour share by increasing labour market power within firms and by inducing a reallocation of economic activity from nonexporting- high-labour-share to exporting-low-labour-share firms
Effekte der Einführung des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns: Eine Fallstudie für das Handwerk in Sachsen-Anhalt
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Knapp 8% der Beschäftigten in den Handwerksbetrieben Sachsen-Anhalts verdienten vor der Einführung des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns zu Beginn des Jahres 2015 brutto weniger als 8,50 Euro je Stunde. Allerdings differiert die Betroffenheit stark. In den besonders betroffenen Gewerken war zu befürchten, dass die durch den Mindestlohn induzierte Kostensteigerung zu einem spürbaren Beschäftigungsabbau führt. In diesem Kontext werden drei Fragen untersucht: (1) Wie hoch war die Mindestlohnbetroffenheit im Handwerk in Sachsen-Anhalt? (2) Welche – über die Lohnkostenerhöhung hinausgehenden – Effekte hatte die Mindestlohneinführung in den Handwerksbetrieben? (3) Welche Ausweichreaktionen haben die Handwerksbetriebe unternommen, um die höhere Kostenbelastung zu bewältigen? Die Untersuchungen basieren auf den von den Handwerkskammern Halle und Magdeburg durchgeführten Konjunkturumfragen, die in Kooperation mit dem IWH um zusätzliche Fragen zur Mindestlohneinführung erweitert wurden. Die Ergebnisse der Schätzungen zeigen keine signifikanten Beschäftigungseffekte infolge der Einführung des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns. Vielmehr haben die Handwerksbetriebe vor allem mit Preiserhöhungen reagiert.
Auswirkungen des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns im Handwerk in Sachsen-Anhalt
Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik,
This paper examines the effects of the minimum wage introduction in Germany in 2015 on the skilled crafts sector in Saxony-Anhalt.
Using novel survey data on the skilled crafts sector in Saxony-Anhalt, we examine three questions: (1) How many employees are affected by the minimum wage introduction in the skilled crafts sector in Saxony-Anhalt? (2) What are the effects of the minimum wage introduction? (3) How did firms react to wage increase?
We find that about 8 % of all employees in the skilled crafts sector in Saxony-Anhalt are directly affected by the minimum wage introduction. A difference-in-difference estimation reveals no significant employment effects of the minimum wage introduction. We test for alternative adjustment strategies and observe a significant increase of output prices.