German Works Councils and the Anatomy of Wages
Using matched employer-employee data from the German LIAB for 2001, the authors found that German works councils are in general associated with higher earnings, even after accounting for establishment- and worker heterogeneity. Works council wage premia exceed those of collective bargaining and are higher, in fact, where both institutions are present in the workplace. The authors also found evidence indicating that works councils benefit women relative to men and appear to favor foreign, east-German, and service-sector workers as well. Separate evidence from quantile regressions suggests that the conjunction of works council presence and collective bargaining is important to the narrowing process. In smaller plants even the presence of a works council markup depends on the coexistence of the works council entity with the machinery of collective bargaining.
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