Betriebsräte und betriebliche Produktivität
Employee participation via works councils is at the heart of the industrial relations in Germany. Despite considerable research, there is still no consensus on the effect works councils exert on establishment productivity. I estimate the statistical relationship between works council existence and establishment productivity using the most recent information from the IAB establishment panel and find that works council existence is related with a nine percent higher productivity. Based on the results of earlier studies, it is argued that the productivity effect of works councils exceeds the estimated statistical relationship.
The Political Setting of Social Security Contributions in Europe in the Business Cycle
Toralf Pusch, Ingmar Kumpmann
IWH Discussion Papers,
Social security revenues are influenced by business cycle movements. In order to
support the working of automatic stabilizers it would be necessary to calculate social insurance contribution rates independently from the state of the business cycle. This paper investigates whether European countries set social contribution rates according to such a rule. By means of VAR estimations, country-specific effects can be analyzed – in contrast to earlier studies which used a panel design. As a result, some countries under investigation seem to vary their social contribution rates in a procyclical way.
Works Councils and Separations: Voice, Monopoly, and Insurance Effects
Boris Hirsch, Thorsten Schank, Claus Schnabel
Using a large linked employer–employee data set for Germany, we find that the existence of a works council is associated with a lower separation rate to employment, in particular for workers with low tenure. While works council monopoly effects show up in all specifications, clear voice effects are only visible for low tenured workers. Works councils also reduce separations to nonemployment, and this impact is more pronounced for men. Insurance effects only show up for workers with tenure of more than 2 years. Our results indicate that works councils to some extent represent the interests of a specific clientele.
Rating Agency Actions and the Pricing of Debt and Equity of European Banks: What Can we Infer About Private Sector Monitoring of Bank Soundness?
Reint E. Gropp, A. J. Richards
The recent consultative papers by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has raised the possibility of an explicit role for external rating agencies in the assessment of the credit risk of banks’ assets, including interbank claims. Any judgement on the merits of this proposal calls for an assessment of the information contained in credit ratings and its relationship to other publicly available information on the financial health of banks and borrowers. We assess this issue via an event study of rating change announcements by leading international rating agencies, focusing on rating changes for European banks for which data on bond and equity prices are available. We find little evidence of announcement effects on bond prices, which may reflect the lack of liquidity in bond markets in Europe during much of our sample period. For equity prices, we find strong effects of ratings changes, although some of our results may suffer from contamination by contemporaneous news events. We also test for pre-announcement and post-announcement effects, but find little evidence of either. Overall, our results suggest that ratings agencies may perform a useful role in summarizing and obtaining non-public information on banks and that monitoring of banks’ risk through bond holders appears to be relatively limited in Europe. The relatively weak monitoring by bondholders casts some doubt on the effectiveness of a subordinated debt requirement as a supervisory tool in the European context, at least until bond markets are more developed.
Uncovered Workers in Plants Covered by Collective Bargaining: Who Are They and How Do They Fare?
Boris Hirsch, Philipp Lentge, Claus Schnabel
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 percent 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.