The German Model of Industrial Relations: Balancing Flexibility and Collective Action
Simon Jäger, Shakked Noy, Benjamin Schoefer
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
We give an overview of the "German model" of industrial relations. We organize our review by focusing on the two pillars of the model: sectoral collective bargaining and firm-level codetermination. Relative to the United States, Germany outsources collective bargaining to the sectoral level, resulting in higher coverage and the avoidance of firm-level distributional conflict. Relative to other European countries, Germany makes it easy for employers to avoid coverage or use flexibility provisions to deviate downwards from collective agreements. The greater flexibility of the German system may reduce unemployment, but may also erode bargaining coverage and increase inequality. Meanwhile, firm-level codetermination through worker board representation and works councils creates cooperative dialogue between employers and workers. Board representation has few direct impacts owing to worker representatives' minority vote share, but works councils, which hold a range of substantive powers, may be more impactful. Overall, the German model highlights tensions between efficiency-enhancing flexibility and equity-enhancing collective action.
IWH Bankruptcy Research
IWH Bankruptcy Research The Bankruptcy Research Unit of the Halle Institute for...
Gift-Exchange in Society and the Social Integration of Refugees: Evidence from a Field, a Laboratory, and a Survey Experiment
Sabrina Jeworrek, Bernd Josef Leisen, Vanessa Mertins
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization,
Refugee integration requires broad support from the host society, but only a minority is actively engaged. Given that most individuals reciprocate kind behavior, we examine the idea that the proportion of supporters will increase as a reciprocal response to refugees’ contributions to society through volunteering. Our nationwide survey experiment shows that citizens’ intentions to contribute time and money rise significantly when they learn about refugees’ pro-social activities. However, we find a substantial heterogeneity in the observed treatment effects. Individuals with a high reciprocal inclination show higher willingness to contribute time, while individuals with a lower reciprocal inclination are ready to contribute money after learning about the refugees' good deeds. Information regarding the possibility to establish a mutual support relationship with the refugees does not generally increase the willingness to contribute time or money beyond the information on refugees’ general contributions to the society. We complement this investigation with experiments in the lab and the field that confirm our findings for actual behavior.
Income Inequality and Minority Labor Market Dynamics: Medium Term Effects from the Great Recession
Salvador Contreras, Amit Ghosh, Iftekhar Hasan
Using a difference-in-differences framework we evaluate the effect that exposure to a bank failure in the Great Recession period had on income inequality. We find that it led to a 1% higher Gini, relative rise of 38 cents for high earners, and 7% decline for lowest earners in treated MSAs. Moreover, we show that blacks saw a decline of 10.2%, Hispanics 9.8%, and whites 5.1% in income. Low income blacks and Hispanics drove much of the effect on inequality.
Heterogeneity in Criminal Behaviour after Child Birth: the Role of Ethnicity
Kabir Dasgupta, André Diegmann, Tom Kirchmaier, Alexander Plum
This paper documents behavioral differences in parental criminality between majority and minority ethnic groups after child birth. The particular effect we exploit is that of the gender of the first-born child on fathers’ convictions rates. Based on detailed judicial and demographic data from New Zealand, we first show that the previously documented inverse relationship between having a son and father’s criminal behaviour holds across the average of the population. However, when splitting the fathers’ sample by ethnicity, the effect appears to be entirely driven by the white part of the population and that there is no effect on the native Maori. The strong ethnic divide is observed along many dimensions and challenges the implicitly made assumption in the economics of crime literature that findings are universally applicable across cultures and race.
What’s slowing down the European Banking Union?
Simon Grothe, Michael Koetter, Thomas Krause, Lena Tonzer
LSE Business Review,
Differences in national bank regulation and supervision hamper the process; political factors play a minor role, write Simon Grothe, Michael Koetter, Thomas Krause, and Lena Tonzer
Trade Effects of Silver Price Fluctuations in 19th-Century China: A Macro Approach
Makram El-Shagi, Lin Zhang
China Economic Journal,
We assess the role of silver price fluctuations in Chinese trade and GDP during the late Qing dynasty, when China still had a bimetallic (silver/copper) monetary system, in which silver was mostly used for international trade. Using a structural VAR (SVAR) with blockwise recursive identification, we identify the impact of silver price shocks on the Chinese economy from 1867, when trade data became available, to 1910, one year before the Qing dynasty collapsed. We find that silver price shocks had a sizable impact on both imports and exports but only a very minor effect on the trade balance, only a marginal impact on growth, and almost no effect on domestic prices. Stronger effects were partly mitigated by inelastic export quantities. Generally, the effect of silver price shocks, while considerable, was only short-lived, displaying no persistence in either direction. We find that the bimetallic system in Qing China might have mitigated a potential positive effect of silver depreciation but did not reverse the effect, which – contrary to claims made in the previous literature – was responsible for neither the worsening trade balance nor the inflation and the quickly increasing imports that occurred during our sample period.
Gift-exchange in Society and the Social Integration of Refugees: Evidence from a Field, a Laboratory, and a Survey Experiment
Sabrina Jeworrek, Vanessa Mertins, Bernd Josef Leisen
Refugee integration requires broad support from the host society, but only a minority of the host population is actively engaged. Given that most individuals reciprocate kind behaviour, we examine the idea that the proportion of supporters will increase as a reciprocal response to refugees’ contributions to society through volunteering. Our nationwide survey experiment shows that citizens’ intentions to contribute time and money rise significantly when they learn about refugees’ pro-social activities. Importantly, this result holds for individuals who have not been in contact with refugees. We complement this investigation with experiments in the lab and the field that confirm our findings for actual behaviour.
Industrial Relations: Worker Codetermination and Collective Wage Bargaining
Steffen Müller, Claus Schnabel
Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik,
Trade unions and employers’ associations, collective bargaining, and employee representation at the workplace are the cornerstones of industrial relations systems in many developed countries. Germany stands out as a country with powerful works councils and a high coverage rate of collective bargaining agreements, supported by encompassing interest groups of employees and employers and by the state. The German case and the perceived stability of its industrial relations regime have attracted considerable attention among researchers and politicians, which also has to do with the country’s high productivity, comparably few strikes, and relatively minor employment problems. However, in recent years industrial relations in many countries including Germany have come under pressure and the fact that there is no obvious and clearly superior alternative to the current regime of industrial and labour relations may not be sufficient to guarantee the survival of the present system.
Explaining Wage Losses after Job Displacement: Employer Size and Lost Firm Rents
Daniel Fackler, Steffen Müller, Jens Stegmaier
IWH Discussion Papers,
Why does job displacement, e.g., following import competition, technological change, or economic downturns, result in permanent wage losses? The job displacement literature is silent on whether wage losses after job displacement are driven by lost firm wage premiums or worker productivity depreciations. We therefore estimate losses in wages and firm wage premiums. Premiums are measured as firm effects from a two-way fixed-effects approach, as described in Abowd, Kramarz, and Margolis (1999). Using German administrative data, we find that wage losses are, on average, fully explained by losses in firm wage premiums and that premium losses are largely permanent. We show that losses in wages and premiums are minor for workers displaced from small plants and strongly increase with pre-displacement firm size, which provides an explanation for the large and persistent wage losses that have been found in previous studies mostly focusing on displacement from large employers.