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Hübler, Olaf
Meyer, Wolfgang
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion paper series 176
Increased wage inequality between skilled and unskilled workers is a stylized fact, which can be observed in many developed countries. Among the explanations advanced for this phenomenon is the increasing globalization, a skill-biased technical progress, restructuring of the firms, and last but not least, a decreasing importance of industrial relations institutions. In the paper, we investigate in a three-step procedure with firms? data whether the latter determinant is influential. We control for the other relevant explanations and split industrial relations into three components - coverage of collective bargaining, existence of a works council, and union density – within a four-equation model. We find an insignificant influence of the union density. A Works council compresses the wage differentials between skilled and unskilled blue-collar workers while coverage is effective in the opposite direction. The latter two effects nearly offset each other.
Wage differentials
skilled and unskilled labour
union density
works councils
coverage of collective bargaining
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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