Collective Bargaining and Innovation in Germany: Cooperative Industrial Relations?

46 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2014

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

The effect of collective bargaining on innovation has long been in dispute. At the level of theory, the hold-up problem has been used to justify positive as well as negative effects of unionism. At the empirical level, although some would consider the North American evidence as cut and dried, this is not the case for other countries. In Europe there is some suggestion that certain industrial relations systems, either alone or in combination with the regulatory framework in which they are embedded, may tip the balance in favor of a beneficial union effect.In the present paper, we assemble nationally representative data for Germany – for many observers the exemplar of a cooperative industrial relations regime – to investigate the impact of collective bargaining on (several measures of) process innovation and product innovation. Our cross section and longitudinal analysis fails to indicate that unionism retards innovation. Indeed, in conjunction with workplace representation, collective bargaining at sectoral level might even be pro innovative.

Keywords: Germany, collective bargaining, innovation

JEL Classification: J51, J53, O31

Suggested Citation

Addison, John T. and Teixeira, Paulino and Evers, Katalin and Bellmann, Lutz, Collective Bargaining and Innovation in Germany: Cooperative Industrial Relations?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7871. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2377607

John T. Addison (Contact Author)

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

The Francis M. Hipp Building
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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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