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The Decentralization of Wage Bargaining

PublicationBook chapter
Arbetsmarknad, Centralisering, Henrik Malm Lindberg, Kollektivavtal, Löneförhandling, Nils Karlson, OECD

Abstract

The paper contributes to the discussion about the possible trends and processes towards decentralization of wage bargaining or wage setting within the OECD-countries since the 1970s. Based on a data set of 16 OECD countries from 1950 to 2000 our results show that in terms of bargaining level the trend is clear towards decentralization since the 1970s, even though there are important exceptions. In terms of confederal involvement the major decrease occurs among the Nordic countries and the Netherlands, whereas many of the other countries have had a status quo more or less. In terms of government involvement, however, the change is the almost non-existent. The overall tendency is still towards less centralisation, even though a number of countries have not changed or have moved in the opposite direction. Sweden, Denmark, UK and the Netherlands experience the largest decreases in decentralization overall. The processes of decentralization of wage bargaining look very differently in each country. It may occur through changes in the collective agreements themselves or through individual wage-setting outside the system of collective agreements. And the decentralization process may occur both in a context of cooperation between the labor-market organizations or in a setting of conflicts.

Related content: Working Paper No. 178

Lindberg, H. & Karlson, N. (2012). ”The Decentralization of Wage Bargaining: Four Cases.” In Lindberg, H. & Karlson, N. (Eds.)Labour Markets at a Crossroads. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Based on content

Labour Markets at a Crossroads
BokPublication
Lindberg, H. & Karlson, N.
Publication year

2012

Abstract

In the research project ”Wage formation and business dynamics” at the Ratio Institute a new book has been published edited by Nils Karlson and Henrik Lindberg. In Labour Markets at a crossroads: Causes of Change, Challenges and Need to Reform we investigate the vital aspects of the different Labour Markets Models in Europe. In ten chapters with three themes: Flexicurity and Labour market Dynamics, Unions and Industrial Action, Wages and Bargaining, different aspects and dimensions of the challenges that Europe face are addressed. The challenges are a persistent and furthermore increasing unemployment among the young, immigrants and disabled which calls for reform of the existing institutions.

A central conclusion made in the anthology is that one of the main causes of the shortcomings of the European labour markets in the functioning of the ”corporative cartels” meaning unions and employers organizations with cartels functions and purposes, upheld by legislation and corporative institutions.

The Decentralization of Wage Bargaining
BokkapitelPublication
Lindberg, H. & Karlson, N.
Publication year

2012

Abstract

The paper contributes to the discussion about the possible trends and processes towards decentralization of wage bargaining or wage setting within the OECD-countries since the 1970s. Based on a data set of 16 OECD countries from 1950 to 2000 our results show that in terms of bargaining level the trend is clear towards decentralization since the 1970s, even though there are important exceptions. In terms of confederal involvement the major decrease occurs among the Nordic countries and the Netherlands, whereas many of the other countries have had a status quo more or less. In terms of government involvement, however, the change is the almost non-existent. The overall tendency is still towards less centralisation, even though a number of countries have not changed or have moved in the opposite direction. Sweden, Denmark, UK and the Netherlands experience the largest decreases in decentralization overall. The processes of decentralization of wage bargaining look very differently in each country. It may occur through changes in the collective agreements themselves or through individual wage-setting outside the system of collective agreements. And the decentralization process may occur both in a context of cooperation between the labor-market organizations or in a setting of conflicts.

Related content: Working Paper No. 178

Reaping Value from Digitalization in Swedish Manufacturing Firms
Book chapterPublication
Mähring, M., Wennberg, K., & Demir, R.
Publication year

2018

Abstract

Excerpt: In this chapter, we take a fresh look at what is actually happening in the area of digitalization, with a particular focus on the Swedish manufacturing sector. […] We particularly focus upon patterns in the ways in which they seek to develop innovations and explore new business models from their activities related to product sensors and wireless data, cloud-based data warehouses, computer-aided manufacturing and 3D printing, big data technologies, and application programming interfaces (APIs). Our findings suggest that while many Swedish industrial firms have developed a strong edge through a combination of high-quality products, international presence, and decentralization, the latter in particular poses challenges when it comes to digital transformation. Digitalization may necessitate large investments across business segments, standardisation, and knowledge sharing regarding both customers and digital solutions in order to create new customer offerings. Points for reflection are then discussed, along with recommendations for scholars that are seeking to develop new and relevant knowledge by studying the transformation of Swedish industry, as well as for managers seeking to benchmark their digitalization activities to others.

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