The CompNet Competitiveness Database The Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet)...
Decentralisation of Collective Bargaining: A Path to Productivity?
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
Productivity developments have been rather divergent across EU countries and particularly between Central Eastern Europe (CEE) and elsewhere in the continent (non-CEE). How is such phenomenon related to wage bargaining institutions? Starting from the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) shock, we analyse whether the specific set-up of wage bargaining prevailing in non-CEE may have helped their respective firms to sustain productivity in the aftermath of the crisis. To tackle the issue, we merge the CompNet dataset – of firm-level based productivity indicators – with the Wage Dynamics Network (WDN) survey on wage bargaining institutions. We show that there is a substantial difference in the institutional set-up between the two above groups of countries. First, in CEE countries the bulk of the wage bargaining (some 60%) takes place outside collective bargaining schemes. Second, when a collective bargaining system is adopted in CEE countries, it is prevalently in the form of firm-level bargaining (i. e. the strongest form of decentralisation), while in non-CEE countries is mostly subject to multi-level bargaining (i. e. an intermediate regime, only moderately decentralised). On productivity impacts, we show that firms’ TFP in the non-CEE region appears to have benefitted from the chosen form of decentralisation, while no such effects are detectable in CEE countries. On the channels of transmission, we show that decentralisation in non-CEE countries is also negatively correlated with dismissals and with unit labour costs, suggesting that such collective bargaining structure may have helped to better match workers with firms’ needs.
12.03.2020 • 4/2020
Global economy under the spell of the coronavirus epidemic
The epidemic is obstructing the economic recovery in Germany. Foreign demand is falling, private households forgo domestic consumption if it comes with infection risk, and investments are postponed. Assuming that the spread of the disease can be contained in short time, GDP growth in 2020 is expected to be 0.6% according to IWH spring economic forecast. Growth in East Germany is expected to be 0.9% and thus higher than in West Germany. If the number of new infections cannot be decreased in short time, we expect a recession in Germany.
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Import Competition and Firm Productivity: Evidence from German Manufacturing
IWH Discussion Papers,
This study analyses empirically the effects of import competition on firm productivity (TFPQ) using administrative firm-level panel data from German manufacturing. We find that only import competition from high-income countries is associated with positive incentives for firms to invest in productivity improvement, whereas import competition from middle- and low-income countries is not. To rationalise these findings, we further look at the characteristics of imports from the two types of countries and the effects on R&D, employment and sales. We provide evidence that imports from high-income countries are relatively capital-intensive and technologically more sophisticated goods, at which German firms tend to be relatively good. Costly investment in productivity appears feasible reaction to such type of competition and we find no evidence for downscaling. Imports from middle- and low-wage countries are relatively labour-intensive and technologically less sophisticated goods, at which German firms tend to generally be at disadvantage. In this case, there are no incentives to invest in innovation and productivity and firms tend to decline in sales and employment.
Ageing and Labour Markets: An Analysis on the effect of worker’s age on productivity, innovation and mobility
Technische Universität Dresden. Dissertation,
The present study analyses the labour market effect of workers’ ageing. Explicitly, the impact of age on productivity and wages, on innovation as well as on mobility is explored empirically. The econometric analyses are based on firm and employment data from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and, thus, refer to the labour market of Germany. Regarding the productivity and wage effects of age the econometric results confirm a positive correlation between firm productivity and the share of middle-aged employees (41-50 years old) within the manufacturing sector. Hence, the results provide evidence of an inverted u-shaped age-productivity profile in this sector also found for other countries. Furthermore, age-wage and age-productivity profiles seem to follow unequal patterns. Compared to the group of the 15-30 and the 51 and above years old workers the group of middle-aged employees earn less than a productivity based wage scheme would require. In terms of age effects on innovativeness the micro-econometric analysis again reveals an inverted u-shaped profile. Workers aged around 40 years seem to act as key driver for innovation activities within firms. An additional finding concerns the impact of age diversity on innovation. The expected positive effect of a heterogeneous age structure is not confirmed by the data. With respect to labour market mobility results are in favour of a negative correlation between age and job mobility either in terms of changing professions or firms. The estimation of a multi equation model verifies that expected wages of older workers do not or only marginally increase due to job mobility, so, financial incentives to change jobs are very low. Yet, even after controlling the absent wage incentive older employees still remain more immobile than younger workers. Altogether, these results should not only be of academic interest but also informative for actors on the firm and the governmental level. Both sides are asked to cope with the challenges of demographic change. Only by maintaining productivity and innovativeness until old ages the necessary resources can be generated to preserve an economy’s prosperity even if the share of non-active population is increasing by demographic developments. Secondly, enhancing productivity is essential to ensure employability of older persons and to sustain the size of workforce even in the circumstances of an ageing economy.
Methodical limits of calculating productivity in the new Länder
IWH Discussion Papers,
The „Arbeitskreis Volkswirtschaftliche Gesamtrechnung der Länder“ now publishes figures concerning the value added in Germany. Formerly the Statistische Bundesamt had this assignment. Some corporations have plant locations in the new Länder as well as in the old Länder. The employed method for splitting-up the value added produce by these corporations might lead to an underestimation of the overall value added produced in the new Länder. However, an estimation using the firm panel of the IAB shows that the East German productivity gap for manufacturing is overestimated by maximally two percentage points. Still in sectors that are dominated by multi plant corporations this effect is stronger. All in all the East German productivity gab is overestimated by maximally three percentage points.