The demise of a model? The state of collective bargaining and worker representation

This article investigates collective bargaining trends in the German

private sector since 2000. Using data from the IAB Establishment Panel

and the German Establishment History Panel, it provides both

cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence on these developments. It

confirms that the hemorrhaging of sectoral bargaining, first observed in

the 1980s and 1990s, is ongoing. Furthermore, works councils are also

in decline, so that the dual system also displays erosion. For their

part, any increases in collective bargaining at firm level have been

minimal in recent years, while the behavior of newly-founded and closing

establishments does not seem to lie at the root of a burgeoning

collective bargaining free sector. Although there are few obvious signs

of an organic reversal of the process, some revitalization of the

bargaining system from above is implied by the labor policies of the new

coalition government.

Addison, J. T.; Teixeira, P.; Pahnke, André; Bellmann, L. (2017): The demise of a model? The state of collective bargaining and worker representation in Germany. In: Economic and Industrial Democracy, Vol. 38, No. 2, S. 193-234.

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