Unions and Collective Bargaining in the Wake of the Great Recession: Evidence from Portugal
26 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2017
Date Written: September 2017
Against the backdrop of its industrial relations architecture, characteristic of the ‘southern European group’ and intimately linked to the recommendations of the Troika, this paper examines four key aspects of Portuguese collective bargaining. First, it provides definitive estimates of private sector union density for that nation. Second, it models the determinants of union density at firm level. Third, it yields estimates of the union wage gap for different ranges of union density. The final issue examined is contract coverage. The received notion that the pronounced reduction in the number of industry‐wide agreements and extension ordinances of late is to be equated with a fall in coverage is shown to be a chimera, the number of workers covered by new and existing agreements remaining largely unaffected by the economic crisis. The reduced frequency of new agreements and extensions is instead attributed to downward nominal wage rigidity in low‐inflation regimes.
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