The German model of industrial relations: (where) does it still exist?

Beitrag in einer Fachzeitschrift

Details zur Publikation

Autor(en): Schnabel C, Oberfichtner M
Zeitschrift: Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik
Jahr der Veröffentlichung: 2019
Band: 239
Heftnummer: 1
Seitenbereich: 5-37
ISSN: 0021-4027


Using data from the representative IAB Establishment Panel, this paper
charts changes in the two main pillars of the German IR model over the
last 20 years. It shows that collective bargaining coverage and worker
representation via works councils have substantially fallen outside the
public sector. Less formalized and weaker institutions such as voluntary
orientation of uncovered firms towards sectoral agreements and
alternative forms of employee representation at the work-place have
partly attenuated the overall erosion in coverage. Multivariate analyses
indicate that the traditional German IR model (with both collective
agreements and works councils) is more likely found in larger and older
plants, and it is less likely in plants managed by the owner, in single
and foreign-owned plants, in individually-owned firms or partnerships,
and in exporting plants. In contrast, more than 60 % of German plants
did not exhibit bargaining coverage or orientation or any kind of worker
representation in 2015. Such an absence of the main institutional
features of the German IR model is mainly found in small and
medium-sized plants, in particular in the service sector and in eastern
Germany, and its extent is increasing dramatically.

FAU-Autoren / FAU-Herausgeber

Schnabel, Claus Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insbesondere Arbeitsmarkt- und Regionalpolitik

Autor(en) der externen Einrichtung(en)
Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB) der Bundesagentur für Arbeit (BA)


Schnabel, C., & Oberfichtner, M. (2019). The German model of industrial relations: (where) does it still exist? Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik, 239(1), 5-37.

Schnabel, Claus, and Michael Oberfichtner. "The German model of industrial relations: (where) does it still exist?" Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik 239.1 (2019): 5-37.


Zuletzt aktualisiert 2019-13-02 um 12:37