German Works Councils in the Production Process

38 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2003

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

Thorsten Schank

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Claus Schnabel

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Joachim Wagner

University of Lueneburg - Institute of Economics; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: June 2003

Abstract

In a sharp break with past German research, some recent estimates have suggested that plants with work councils have 25 to 30 per cent higher productivity than their works-councilfree counterparts. Such findings can only serve to buttress the strong theoretical and policy interest in the German institution, not least in an environment of union decline. In the present paper, we estimate the effects of works councils on productivity, 1997-2000, using a nationally representative German data set. We recoup the works council effect by estimating translog production functions, stochastic frontier production functions, and a model in first differences. Once we focus on a core sample of establishments with 21 to 100 employees in which the powers of the works council are a datum, it emerges that the positive productivity differential is a chimera. By the same token, neither is the effect negative. This result is important in its own right given the sharply opposing findings of past empirical research and the partisan positions these have helped sustain.

Keywords: Works Councils, Production Functions, Panel Data, Germany

JEL Classification: J50

Suggested Citation

Addison, John T. and Schank, Thorsten and Schnabel, Claus and Wagner, Joachim, German Works Councils in the Production Process (June 2003). IZA Discussion Paper No. 812. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=422561

John T. Addison

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

The Francis M. Hipp Building
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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

Thorsten Schank

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg ( email )

Schloßplatz 4
Erlangen, Bavaria 91054
Germany

Claus Schnabel

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg ( email )

Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung
Lange Gasse 20
D-90403 Nuernberg
Germany
+49 911 5302 330 (Phone)
+49 911 5302 721 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.arbeitsmarkt.rw.fau.de/english-version/staff/prof-dr-claus-schnabel/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Joachim Wagner (Contact Author)

University of Lueneburg - Institute of Economics ( email )

PO Box 2440
D-21314 Luneburg
Germany
+49 4131 677 2330 (Phone)
+49 4131 677 2026 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uni-lueneburg.de/wifo

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Economics ( email )

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D-07745 Jena, 07745
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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