Is the Erosion Thesis Overblown? Evidence from the Orientation of Uncovered Employers

33 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2012

See all articles by John T. Addison

John T. Addison

University of South Carolina - Moore School of Business - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Paulino Teixeira

Universidade de Coimbra - Faculdade de Economia; Center for European Economic Research (ZEW)

Katalin Evers

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

Lutz Bellmann

Institute for Employment Research (IAB); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

It is sometimes claimed that the coverage of collective bargaining in Germany is considerably understated because of orientation, a process whereby uncovered firms profess to shadow the wages set under sectoral bargaining. Yet importantly, at a time when collective bargaining proper has been in retreat, little is known of corresponding trends in the frequency of indirect coverage, still less of the degree to which wages are aligned in practice. Using nationally representative data for 2000-2010, this paper charts the extent of orientation in the uncovered sector, and tracks average wages across bargaining regimes as well as changes in wages from switches in regime. It is reported that orientation is growing with the decline in sectoral bargaining and that orienting firms do pay higher wages than their counterparts in the collective bargaining free zone. Yet in neither case – frequency nor remuneration – is the degree of 'compensation' recorded other than partial.

Keywords: orientation, erosion of collective bargaining, uncovered sector, sectoral bargaining, wages, regime shifts

JEL Classification: J31, J5

Suggested Citation

Addison, John T. and Teixeira, Paulino and Evers, Katalin and Bellmann, Lutz, Is the Erosion Thesis Overblown? Evidence from the Orientation of Uncovered Employers. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6658. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2089707

John T. Addison (Contact Author)

University of South Carolina - Moore School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

The Francis M. Hipp Building
1705 College Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States
803-777-7400 (Phone)
803-777-6876 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mooreschool.sc.edu/moore/economics/profiles/addison.htm

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Paulino Teixeira

Universidade de Coimbra - Faculdade de Economia ( email )

Av. Dias da Silva, 165
Coimbra, 3004-512
Portugal

Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1 D-68161 Mannheim
Germany

Katalin Evers

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Lutz Bellmann

Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany
+49 911 179 3046 (Phone)
+49 911 179 3297 (Fax)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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