News from the IAAEU



Colloquium on Economics at the IAAEU

On Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 (18:00 h, H714, Campus II) the next lecture will take place within the framework of the economic colloquium, to which we cordially invite you. Prof. Iga Magda from the Warsaw School of Economics will present the paper "Firms and Wage Inequality in Central and Eastern Europe". Please find further information here.


Positions as academic associates (f/m/d)

On August 1st, 2019 or earlier, the Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU) together with the Chair of Personnel Economics at Trier University will fill one position for academic staff (doctoral). Please find further information here.


Prizes, Distinctions & News


Annual Meeting of the Society of Labor Economists

On May 25 and 26, 2019, the 24th Annual Meeting of the Society of Labor Economists took place in Arlington, Virginia. The event is considered one of the most renowned conferences among labor economists worldwide. This year, around 350 researchers not only from the United States, but from all over the world met to discuss current questions in labor economics and personnel economics. The topics of the more than 280 presentations covered both "classical" topics and novel research areas. Central topics were, for example, the effects of automation and robotics on the current and future world of work and the economic causes of populism. Due to the wide variety of topics, the event encouraged economists with different research focuses to exchange ideas. Thus the annual conference offered an optimal opportunity for networking.
IAAEU researcher Sven Hartmann presented his work on the topic "Can Television Reduce Xenophobia? The Case of East Germany". Thanks to the helpful comments of other participants, he was able to gain new insights and ideas for future research projects. The IAAEU is pleased to have been present at such an important conference.

 11. Workshop on Labor Economics 2019 at the IAAEU

Fifty guests in total, many interesting presentations as well as scientific exchange at highest level- this is the final result of the Workshop on Labour Economics, which has taken place on April 12 and 13, 2019 at Trier University.
For the eleventh time has the IAAEU’s economics team offered this conference - which has already established itself in the field of personnel and labor economics in the European sphere. The event was promoted and financially supported by the center of graduates ("Graduiertenzentrum") of Trier University.
In total, 34 researchers- of which 19 were junior scientists- were able to present their latest findings. The topics of this year’s conference ranged from standard topics of personnel economics and labor economics to further related areas. For instance, one presentation covered the impact of job insecurity on health, while another one focused on a possible connection between the extent of regional immigration on life satisfaction of the local population.
Putting its focus on junior scientists, the conference offered a great chance of professional exchange for PhD students. Each of the juniors was assigned to a senior - an experienced researcher who was to evaluate the work process and the final presentation. Subsequently to the presentations, a short discussion by the respective senior enabled the young scientist to attain new perspectives of their field of research. This way ambiguities and methodological issues were discussed and the junior’s work could be qualitatively improved. In addition, the event aimed at forming cooperative relationships between scientists; especially among juniors and seniors.
The award for the best contribution ("Best Paper Award") was handed out twice this year: once for a theoretical essay, which analyzed how financial compensations of high- and low-skilled workers are affected by technological change and intensified use of capital in the production process, both in a short- and long-term perspective. The author of this essay, Michael Knoblach, from the Technical University of Dresden, was visibly happy about receiving the award: “I did not expect this at all. I am certainly honored for receiving such an award for my work!” Nicolas Apfel, from the University of Regensburg was similarly enthusiastic about receiving an award for his contribution, which focused on improving estimation results subject to uncertain causality issues: “I am very happy about receiving this award and I hope that the findings of my research will help other fellow researchers”. Mr. Apfel was given the award not least for his programmed statistical application, with which his research strategy can be transferred easily onto similar methodological problems in other contexts as well.
Yet again, the attractiveness of this event has been emphasized by the high number of attendees this year. In total, there have been 90 applications - more than three per available presentation slot.
We can look back at a successful Workshop on Labor Economics and thank all participants for their involvement and for the success of this event!


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Impressions of the WLE 2019

Marco de Pinto receives Professors Certificate

The self-image of the IAAEU is to conduct interdisciplinary, socially relevant research and thus to provide employees with excellent conditions for further professional steps. One indicator of the success of the promotion of young scientists is the positions that IAAEU employees take on following their work in Trier. A further chapter can now be added to the success story documented in the Institute's annual reports. Marco de Pinto has started his position as Professor of Economics at the IUBH University of Applied Sciences on February 27, 2019. This career step was made possible among other things by the research and teaching activities demanded and promoted by the IAAEU. In his research, Prof. Dr. Marco de Pinto dealt with aspects of labor market economics and international trade as well as the combination of both topics. For this conjunction, Mr. de Pinto, together with colleagues from the ZEW, the University of Münster, and the Aix-Marseille School of Economics, successfully raised third-party funds. In addition, there have been numerous collaborations with researchers, e.g. from the IAAEU and the Universities of Kassel, Constance and Münster. These have resulted in a large number of projects and publications. The paper that achieved most success was "The Impact of Unionization Structures with Heterogeneous Firms and Rent-Sharing Motives", published in the Scandinavian Journal of Economics. Furthermore, Mr. de Pinto has also taught numerous courses, such as Personnel Economics (Bachelor) and Labor Contracts (Master), which have always been very well evaluated by the students. In the case of Prof. Dr. Marco de Pinto, there is one special feature: in order to complete the above-mentioned third-party funding project, he will remain with the IAAEU for some time and will therefore continue to contribute to the research output of the institute. Both sides are looking forward to continuing the successful cooperation.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Monika Schlachter as co-editor of a book on international labour law

Regulations in community legislation concerning collective employment law are mostly limited to the establishment of the right to information and consultation for employee representatives in companies and corporations. Conversely, collective bargaining and industrial action law have long remained largely unaffected, because of the still unclear delimitation of competences between the community and the member states in this area. With the entry into force of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Union has recognized the fundamental right to form and operate a coalition. By referring to the instruments of the Council of Europe (Human Rights Convention and Social Charter), the Charter makes it possible for international labor law to have a greater influence on the Union’s legal order. This provides an opportunity for a systematic discussion of the relationship between Union law and international labor law, accompanied by a discussion of the influences of these legal sources on national law. Apart from individual publications on the subject, the first comprehensive and systematic presentation of international labor law was published by Mohr Siebeck in 2019: Heuschmid/ Schlachter/ Ulber (Hrsg.), Arbeitsvölkerrecht, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2019.

Guest researcher Dr. Clemens Buchen
From the 12th to 15th March 2019, Dr. Clemens Buchen was again guest researcher at the IAAEU. He is a post-doc researcher at the Chair of Management and Economics at the EBS University. Dr. Clemens Buchen worked with Dr. Alberto Palermo to make progress on their model, which studies the effects of interrelated incentives on team-production outcomes in organizations.

Professional workshop held by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in cooperation with the IAAEU

The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) held a range of events within the future-oriented dialog "New Labor – New Security" that dealt with the future of labor and the welfare state. The topics included, among others, the social situation of (solo) self-employed persons. On March 7th, 2019, a professional workshop took place in the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in Berlin, which revolved around the improvement of employment conditions for (solo) self-employed persons. Scholars, experts from relevant associations, and from the BMAS discussed possibilities to improve the (solo) self-employed persons' employment conditions and especially their income situation. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Monika Schlachter, who already provided professional advice regarding the preparation of the workshop, moderated the event. Aside from discussing the expansion of labor law-based protection for certain self-employed persons and the advancement of the protection of home workers and quasi-subordinate persons, the participants debated the self-employed persons' possibilities to shape collective agreements. Dr. Thomas Klein, who holds the position of academic consultant at the IAAEU, presented on possible options based in procurement law that could improve pay conditions and proposed the implementation of industry-specific guaranteed minimum payments. Dr. Klein mentioned the German “Arbeitnehmerentsendegesetz” (Law on the Posting of Workers) and the “Mindestarbeitsbedingungengesetz” (Law on Minimum Working Conditions), which has ceased to be in force, as models for such regulations. Further, in the light of the growing importance of self-employed persons offering their services over online platforms (Crowdwork, Gigwork, etc.), he advocated for the operators of such platforms to carry liability in regard to fulfilling claims to remuneration. Here, too, the Law on the Posting of Workers could serve as a model.


For Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Monika Schlachter, Dr. Thomas Klein, and Dominik Leist - the IAAEU participants - the professional workshop provided interesting approaches for the current DFG research project “Crowdsourcing as a new form of labor organization”, which deals with the legal status of crowdworkers, of which the majority is self-employed.

Publishing of a recent examination of the changes to the European Posting of Workers Directive

Dr. Thomas Klein and Alexander Schneider, who are both research associates of the juridical work group of the IAAEU, closely examined legal questions regarding the changes to the European Union’s Posting of Workers Directive (Directive 71/96/EG) that were induced by the Directive 2018/957/EU that came into force in the summer of 2018 in an article that was published in the journal Soziales Recht ((SR), issue 1, 2019, p.21-36). The paper deals especially with the expansion of the catalog of extending working conditions, the extension of universally binding collective agreements that are independent of any sector, and the extension of universally effective as well as representative collective agreements. Additionally, the article covers the new regulations regarding cross-border temporary work, the further approximation of employment conditions after a posting period of one year, and the proposals for a revision of the coordination arrangements in social law that are relevant to the posting of workers (=regulation (EG) 883/2004 and regulation (EG) 987/2009). Klein and Schneider hold the view that the individual changes bring about new features only partially. Other regulations merely confirm the existing legislation that the EJC based on the old directive. According to the authors, the posting directive is still far from an equal treatment in the sense of “same pay for the same work in the same place” after the coming into force of directive 2018/957/EU. In this regard, the changes to the term of remuneration and the possibility of an extension of collective agreements that are not universally binding can be seen as improvements. Although this way of improving the protection of posted workers goes in the right direction, further efforts have to be made to achieve an actually equal treatment of employees and locally hired personnel. Apart from the respective legislators, the EJC could contribute to this by attaching more importance to the free movement of workers in its jurisdiction and by giving them more weight in its considerations regarding restrictions of the freedom to provide services.


The paper - that is limited to the level of Union law - is complemented by a second article of the authors that examines the practical implementation of the changes mentioned above into German law. This contribution will be published in issue 2, 2019, of the journal Soziales Recht.

Lecture "Collective Agreements for Sole Proprietors"

The IAAEU started 2019 off with another exciting lecture for students, staff members and other interested persons. Lawyer Antonius Allgaier (Industriegewerkschaft Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt) gave a lecture on 16th January 2019 regarding "Collective Agreements for Sole Proprietors". By doing so, he presented vividly which challenges the growing number of sole proprietors in the construction industry entails. He especially discussed the issue of training cost levy and the respective BAG verdict from 1st August 2017. As usual, the lecture closed with an open discussion that covered unanswered questions.


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Impressions of the presentation

"Changing the perception of diversity"

Understanding diversity is as challenging as understanding what limits its presence in the first place. After some quite shocking insights from research by Alice Wu, the profession of economists in the US has undertaken several actions. First, the American Economic Association (AEA) released a climate survey among its members to research the prevalence of inappropriate behaviors and identify what exactly members themselves define as inappropriate. AEA has also opened EconSpark, an internet forum to divert attention and user traffic from EconJobMarketRumors, with the intention that unlike EJMR, EconSpark will provide a safe and encouraging environment, due to transparency. But irrespectively of these actions, the AEA 2019 meetings in Atlanta have proven to be extremely rich in research that analyzes the roots of discrimination and barriers to diversity. The papers on this particular research agenda complemented the commonly present macro, micro, theory, econometrics, and the always pressing uncertainty about the fate of the US economy. The discussions encompassed not only direct empirical and experimental evidence on discrimination and diversity: during a few panels the top minds of economics discussed how to rid the profession of stimulating but also discouraging hostility during the seminars, extreme drive to competitiveness and other indirect mechanisms which drive women and minorities away from economics.


Our presentation concerned the mechanisms behind gender board diversity in small and medium enterprises. It has been previously established that the stocklisted companies with women on supervisory (non-executive) boards tend to achieve greater diversity when nominating the members of the executive (management) boards. Our study shows that this mechanism works only for the stocklisted firms: the companies which are not under public scrutiny of the shareholders have much less women on supervisory boards and much more women on management boards, ceteris paribus.

"Working through Platforms"

In response to the growing importance of platform based work and the accompanying challenges, the professional conference "Arbeiten auf Plattform" was held in Berlin on the 6th of December, 2018. Personal and staff council representatives, union representatives scientists and politicians all discussed their experiences with the platform based work at the conference, which was organized by ver.di and IG Metall. The IAAEU was also represented by Dominik Leist and Dr. Thomas Klein. In a poster-session, Dominik Leist presented a portion of his dissertation on possibilities for collective articulation of interests by platform workers.


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Dr. Thomas Klein (left) and Domik Leist
Copyright photo: Christian Jungeblodt

BMAS Professional Workshop "Social Protection for the Self-Employed – the development of new criteria for accessibility" – Moderated by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Monika Schlachter

As part of the Dialogue for the Future "New Work – New Security" on the 29th of November 2018, the German Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs hosted a professional workshop on the topic "Social Protection for the Self-Employed – the development of new criteria for accessibility". The topic has won increasing political relevance against the backdrop of an increasing number of self-employed and solo-self-employed persons and the lacklustre social protection to which they have access. Experts and scientists from Germany and from abroad took part in the workshop which was moderated by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Monika Schlachter. Among the topics discussed was how planning and legal certainty can be improved in practice. In addition, models for including the self-employed statutory pension insurance were proffered. Along with Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Monika Schlachter, Dr. Thomas Klein also participated in the workshop.

Guest researcher Dr. Clemens Buchen

From the 26th to the 29th of November, 2018, Dr. Clemens Buchen was guest researcher at the IAAEU. He is a post-doc researcher at the Chair of Management and Economics at the EBS University. Dr. Clemens Buchen worked with Dr. Alberto Palermo to develop a model able to disentagle the effects of interrelated incentives on team-production outcomes in organizations.

Broader, farther, smarter

Much like the ancient Olimpians who collected trophies from competitions, IAAEU economists used the summer to collect merit badges from numerous conferences: we have been to 29 different events, vast majority of them international and widely recognized. In these events we have presented 19 different studies.
The first merit badge was for networking. Sven Hartmann disseminated broadly his xenophobia research, which was all the more relevant given the rising interest in this topic. Gabriel Schultze interacted with people who specialize in working with SOEP data. The whole team encouraged collaboration with IAAEU staff and invited to present papers in our seminar series, especially Alberto Palermo, the coordinator of the seminar.
The second merit badge was for furthering the understanding of our research fields. Konstantin Homolka had the pleasure to interact with Martin Dufwenberg to advance his work on cheating. Sven Hartmann discussed economics of xenophobia with Simon Gaechter.
The third merit badge is for broadening of the perspectives. Each of the events had a different audience – from theory and industrial organization (e.g. EARIE), through institutional economics (e.g. SIOE), personnel economics (e.g. WK Personnel Workshop), labor economics (e.g. EALE) to general interest events (e.g. EEA). We also went to specialized workshops (e.g. behavioral and experimental economics, business administration). If you present one study to such diverse audiences, you are bound to receive broad and inspiring comments, even if they are from outside the current scope of work. For example, Alberto Palermo received comments to his work on family firms from theorists, personnel scholars and labor economists. Laszlo Goerke interacted with both specialized audiences and general interest participants to discuss his work on product market imperfections and labor market design.
The fourth merit badge is for learning the new things. Joanna Tyrowicz was particularly stunned by the keynote address of Sascha O. Becker on forced migration. Jonas Feld and Konstantin Homolka appreciated greatly the hints for young scholars on how to develop research projects, network, and improve clarity of presentations. Presenting to rooms packed with audience – as was the case for xenophobia talk by Sven Hartmann during his EEA session, is also a skill worth acquiring.
Given this breadth of experiences, no wonder even injuries did not prevent us from travelling thousands of kilometers to experience all that. Looking forward to the summers to come!

Presentation: "The role of new intermediaries in negotiating labour conditions for the solo self-employed"

On Wednesday the 14th of November, 2018, Jun.-Prof. Dr. Caroline Ruiner presented her newest research in a guest lecture titled "The role of new intermediaries in negotiating labour conditions for the solo self-employed". Referring to the results of the research project "Collective Individualisation – Individual Collectivisation?", she discussed the role that new intermediaries, such as agencies and cooperatives, play in negotiating the labour conditions for the highly qualified solo self-employed. Using examples from three exemplary occupational groups, she illuminated which aspects of labour conditions are negotiated by these intermediaries and with which frequency. Finally, she explored the effects of these developments can have on labour markets and on the labour conditions of non-self-employed. The presentation was concluded with an interesting, demonstrative discussion.


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Impressions of the presentation

Dr. Benjamin Schwanebeck guest at the IAAEU

From the 12th to the 15th of November, 2018, Dr. Benjamin Schwanebeck was guest researcher at the IAAEU. He is post-doc researcher at the Chair of Economics, specifically International Economics, at the Fernuniversität Hagen. Together with Dr. Marco de Pinto, Dr. Schwanebeck worked on the development of a new research project. In this project, the macroeconomic consequences of labour market imperfections are analysed with explicit consideration of different financial restrictions in interaction with heterogeneous companies.

International Workshop "Team Dynamics and Peer Effects" on November 9th und 10th, 2018

On November 9th and 10th, 2018 the economic work group of the IAAEU along with the Chair of Personnel Economics of Trier University hosted a workshop concerning "team dynamics and peer effects". The main focus of the workshop was issues regarding behavior and decision making in teams. Additionally, examinations that explored the change in performance of workers when their work process was not isolated, but in the presence of others, were presented. Building on the influence others have on individual performance, Julia Müller (University of Münster) and her co-author investigated the classic measurement problem of isolating individual performance in teams. Christian Grund (RWTH Aachen University) presented a research project in which the real-world subjects' productivity was influenced by innovative virtual technology while they were competing with digital avatars. Together with his two co-authors he showed that the mere presence of an avatar already increases productivity, with other factors having negligible effects. Following a number of fascinating presentations, an evening program, which was linked directly to the topic of modern work development, took place: In »»generator 2018 Andrea Diederichs guided our guests through the exhibition "Marx and Digital Capitalism". During this tour, the participants could, with the help of artistic impulses, reflect on the diverse research projects that had been presented.
In total, eleven researchers presented their findings during the workshop. The IAAEU and Trier University were represented by two projects. We are happy that we could enable researchers to meet and engage in scholarly exchange once again. Moreover, we want to thank Trier University for supporting the workshop financially through the intramural research funding. You can find more information regarding the workshop here.


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Impressions of the workshop

IAAEU Researchers visit the Luxemburg Central Bank's Labour Market Workshop

Two IAAEU researchers, Jonas Feld and Gabriel Schultze, took part in the Labour Market Workshop held by the Central Bank of Luxemburg on the 25th and 26th of October, 2018. The goal of the workshop was to encourage exchange between labour market economists from Luxemburg and its neighboring countries. Jonas Feld presented his findings on the effects of national minimum wages on inner-European labour migration and showed that labour migration regions avoid raises to the minimum wage. Gabriel Schultze presented a research project on the connection between union membership and overtime. His study showed that union members in Germany work about three quarters less over-time per week. In addition to seeing many acquaintances from the Greater Region Research Network, new connections were made with international researchers. Feel free to contact the researchers with any questions about their projects.

Joanna Tyrowicz's research visit at the IOS

In October Joanna Tyrowicz stayed at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) Regensburg within the Visiting Scholars Program. Joanna's interest relate to labor market inequality, in particular in a comparative context. She has analyzed the patterns of female barriers in employment (a study forthcoming in Social Science Research) as well as consequences of labor market shocks for gender wage inequality. Her new project, commenced in Regenesburg, relates working time flexibility to gender wage inequality. According to Claudia Goldin (2014), wage gap due to gender is a phenomenon of the past. Goldin argued in her AEA 2014 presidential address, giving examples of several occupations, that the gap between men and women follows from the ability to supply labor with flexibility in terms of working time and timing. Occupations where the employers' demand for flexibility was reduced, due to e.g. change in technology of production, have observed low and declining gender wage gaps (adjusted and raw). This formulation is supported by a recent overview by Blau & Kahn (2017), who argue that the unadjusted gaps in wages between men and women have declined in the US due to a closing gap in educational attainment and change in the occupational structure of the economy. Also Ngai & Petrongolo (2017) argue in a stylized simulation model setting that the rise of the service economy could be a powerful equalizing force if women have a comparative advantage in the rising sector. This recent literature reorients the concept of gender wage gap viewed as discrimination to a one, where observed gender wage gaps after adjusting for individual characteristics are merely a consequence of omitted variable bias or a systematic measurement error related to inadequate tackling of the working time flexibility wage gap. This reorientation of the empirical literature need not be adequate for countries other than the US. Few countries have implemented equal opportunity legislation to the same extent as the US and in few other countries the decline in the adjusted gender wage gaps has been keeping up with the pace observed in the US. In fact, in a meta-analysis for a wide selection of countries Weichselbaum & Winter-Ebmer (2011) find that the decline in the scope of the adjusted gender wage gap appears at a rate of approximately 0.15% per year. Given that the average adjusted gap in the advanced economies is in excess of 10%, wage equality seems like a distant perspective. Eastern and South-Eastern Europe are especially interesting cases, because adjusted gender wage gaps are among the highest there and do not seem to decline at all. Baltic states and the Balkan countries report adjusted gender wage gaps of as much as 40%. Also employment gaps are not declining (although these were lower in level terms than in the Western European countries). In her new project, Joanna wants to take seriously the hypothesis of the working time flexibility and inquire its validity in the context of countries characterized by high labor market inequality in terms of gender.

Ruling on the ban on civil servant strikes

The German Federal Constitutional Court ruled on the 12th of June 2018 that civil servants do not have the right to strike. Dr. Thomas Klein (academic advisor at the IAAEU) has given this decision a great deal of attention and come to the conclusion that the court's argument for this decision failed to attend to, or more specifically, gave too little weight to central aspects of the case. In particular, the constitutional right of civil servants to free association was given too little weight. Furthermore, the court’s interpretation of the European Court of Human Rights decision was also open to critique. An objection from the court in Strasbourg would, therefore, have a serious chance at success. Dr. Klein’s discussion of the decision was published in band 10/2018 of the Journal "Arbeit und Recht" (AuR 2018, 479-484).

The Future of Labour Law

On the 19th of September, 2018, a conference on "The Future of Labour Law" took place in Miskolc, Hungary. After the Hungarian Minister of Finance opened the conference, renowned scholars and union representatives from Germany, Austria and Hungary gave talks. The conference was organized by the University of Miskloc and supported by the Hungarian Ministry of Finance as well by the European Union. Prof. Schlachter gave a presentation on the topic "Bargaining collectively for self-employed service providers – EU-law under the influence of international law".


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Prof. Monika Schlachter as a speaker

New Monograph from Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Monika Schlachter

A new monograph, M. Mironi/ M. Schlachter: Regulating strikes in essential services – a comparative "law in action" perspective, Wolters Kluwer 2018, has been published. It is the result of the IAAEU comparative legal studies project "Strikes in Essential Services", which has been underway since 2016. The monograph includes reports on industrial action rights in 14 different countries, a report on the common regulatory framework on international labour law as well as a final chapter on comparative legal issues. It showcases the product of the German-Israeli-Foundation’s (GIF) financial support for the project to the public at large. Please find further information and the structure of the work here.

Labour Market Effects of Unions – On the role of unevenly distributed union power

IAAEU economist Dr. Marco de Pinto and Prof. Dr. Jochen Michaelis from the University of Kassel recently published a study on the effects of unions on labour markets in the journal Economic Modelling. In their theoretical model, the authors started from the empirically validated observation that a union's bargaining power is decisively dependent on firm productivity. Analyzing a general improvement of union's bargaining strength (e.g. through increased right to strike), they find that the implied rise in unemployment is smaller than in the reference case of uniform bargaining power across all firms. The heterogeneity of bargaining power thus lowers, ceteris paribus, unemployment. Beyond that, the authors discussed the labour market effects of trade liberalization. When unions for highly productive firms are particularly strong (weak), trade liberalisation increases (decreases) unemployment.

New Study on the Employment Effects of Collective Agreements

In English-speaking countries, the employment growth in firms where unions have influence over pay and working conditions is much lower than in firms without collective wage bargaining. Because collective bargaining in these countries tends to take place at plant level, the results of studies concerning these conditions cannot be easily generalised for application to other countries. Laszlo Goerke (Trier) and Tobias Brändle (Tübingen) have now examined if there is a connection between commitment to collective agreements and employment in Germany. In Germany, about 50% of employees are paid according to sector-wide collective agreements and a further 10% fall under plant-level agreements. As a result, the consequences of the observed connection between collective agreements and employment effects in Great Britain and the USA would be of a much higher magnitude for economy-wide employment in Germany than in countries with fewer commitments to collective agreements.

In their study, which was recently published in the Scottish Journal of Political Economy, the authors show that the employment growth for companies with collective agreements is lower than for those without them in Germany as well. The effect is, however, much less pronounced. In addition, the authors find no differences between sector-wide and plant-level collective agreements. They then examine if the collective agreements are the actual cause of lower employment growth. And while Laszlo Goerke and Tobias Brändle were not able to completely answer that question, their results indicate that the collective agreements are not likely to be the root for differing developments. It seems instead to be the case that companies with lower employment growth levels tend to have adopted collective agreements while those with higher employment growth have not. Accordingly, the study does not provide evidence supporting the claim that the decline in collective agreements is the reason for the currently positive employment trends. The study has also been published in the IAAEU Discussion Paper 01/15.

New Publication: Labor reallocation and demographics, Journal of Comparative Economics

Joanna Tyrowicz and her co-authors discuss the mechanics behind the labor market reallocation and structural change in economies undergoing a transition from central planning to a market economy. We find is that these economies were really standard markets, even during the early years of transition. Yes, massive layoffs and public sector collapsing, but this was just like a regular crisis to the labor markets, not a specific transition crisis. The labor market flows and the mechanics of structural change are such that rather than worker flows between jobs (from collapsing to newly emerging), there is a generational exchange. A worker, dismissed from an old-style job in an old-style industry, is more likely to find a similar job than to find a job in the new part of the economy. Meanwhile, graduates, with no prior experience, go where the new sectors of the economy grow: new firms and new jobs. By consequence, majority of the change in the structure of employment is not because workers flew from old to new sector, but because older workers left the labor markets and young workers entered not in their shoes. This finding is supported by the analysis of the labor market flows for 27 transition countries with the use of the novel Life in Transition Survey, developed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This data covers the labor market biographies of individuals as far back as to 1989, asking about education, job changes as well as many characteristics of the employers. Our study compares the role of the demographic flows to the ones theorized in transition literature, such as flows between SOEs and private sector (Aghion and Blanchard model of 1994) and the flows between sun-setting and sun-rising sectors (a number of models by Cabaillero and Hammour from mid 1990s). We find that majority of the change in the employment structure did not follow the theoretical prescriptions of either of these models. It is thus likely that the labor market policies were insufficient in scale to effectively facilitate the worker reallocation in the ways previewed by reallocation models. This holds despite the fact that most transition countries adjusted substantially labor market structure in terms of ownership and industry composition in a relatively short period of time. It also appears that a substantial number of workers in transition countries may have considered retirement benefits as safety nets in the expectation of becoming non-employed rather than as a consequence of experiencing redundancy. These early exits have relieved the downward pressure on wages by the job-seekers and permanently increased the non-wage employment costs, hence hindering the job creation.

New Publication: Does Age Exacerbate the Gender-Wage Gap? New Method and Evidence From Germany, 1984–2014, Feminist Economics

This analysis seeks to understand the changes in the gender wage gap as women age. Our research indicates that with age, gender differences in conditional wages grow; though this widening of the gap appears to be non-monotonic. The adjusted wage gap grows the fastest when women turn 30, possibly explained by intensified caring activities. This evidence is consistent with existing attempts to explain wage inequality; however, we also observe that the wage gap increases in the post reproductive age, which presupposes a challenge to human capital literature. In terms of policy implications, the fact that gender wage gap adjusted for individual characteristics continues to grow also in the post-reproductive age, hints that at various stages of career different instruments may be needed to mitigate the gender labor market inequality. At younger ages, linking maternity benefits to previous employment earnings, increasing the availability of childcare facilities and encouraging more equal split of the child rearing between men and women might help to reduce the unexplained wage gap. However, in older age groups, such instrument may be insufficient. Notably, addressing gender wage gap among older workers could also help to increase female labor market participation on later stages of their life, thus helping to mitigate the costs of an ageing workforce.

How many consecutive days of work are allowed by union law?

The working-hours directive stipulates in Art. 5 that a minimum of 24 hours rest per 7 days must be provided, in addition to the daily periods of rest. In the case C- 306/16 ("Maio Marques da Rosa / Varzim Sol - Turismo, Jogo e Animação, SA"), the European Court of Justice grappled with this provision for the first time. In this case, the court understood the provision to mean that the weekly period of rest need not necessarily follow 6 days of work, thus finding that, even beyond the exceptions in the directive, 12 consecutive days of work are admissible under union law. This interpretation has been called into question by Dominik Leist in a new study that finds the court’s decision failed to adequately honour the health policy dimensions of labour law. Furthermore, the European Court of Justice only partially examined the questions raised by the case and, in particular, failed to perform the required operationalisation of the term "7 day period", thereby omitting the resulting perspectives from their analysis. The whole contribution from Dominik Leist was published and can be found in the Zeitschrift für europäisches Sozial- und Arbeitsrecht (ZESAR), Issue 08/2018, pp. 338-341.

Virtual Employment in the Context of a Changing World of Work

In a contribution for the Neue Zeitschrift für Sozialrecht (NZS), Alexander Schneider (IAAEU researcher) and Dr. Thomas Spitzlei (Academic Councillor and Post-Doctoral Candidate under the Professorial Chair of Prof. Dr. Timo Hebeler, University of Trier) examine virtual employment in the case of workplace accident compensation as covered by § 2 Abs. 2 S. 1 SGB VII in the context of a changing world of work. The status of virtual employment is determined through four criteria which were established in the Federal Social Court of Germany in 1957: the following must apply for the bespoken employment (1.) the work must seriously serve the interests of an external company, (2.) in accordance with the actual or suspected purpose of said company (3.) that would otherwise be attended to by persons who are professionally or personally dependent upon said company, whereby (4.) the work can take place under conditions that are similar to that of a normal employment relationship. The fourth condition requires of the work which led to the accident that it be a position available to the general labour market. The authors explain why the "general labour market" condition, as stipulated in § 2 Abs. 2 S. 1 SGB VII, is no longer appropriate in a modernised world of work. Argumentative contradictions are shown in the judgements on cases concerning dog-sitting and riding animals. Furthermore, concerns about the constitutional legitimacy of the settlement practices are made. The authors are of the opinion that the fourth criterion must, in light increasing complexity in the world of work, be abandoned. The article (NZS 2018, 633 – 638) can be read under beck-online.

Research Cooperation with Dr. Ulrich Zierahn
From the 23rd to the 25th of July, 2018, Dr. Ulrich Zierahn was active as a guest researcher at the IAAEU. He is a Senior Researcher at ZEW. During his stay Mr. Zierahn worked together with Dr. Marco de Pinto on the joint third-party funded project "Local labour markets - The causes and consequences of spatial differences in labour market outcomes across cities in France and Germany". Here, the researchers are investigating the reallocation of the workforce due to increasing international interdependence.

Labour Law Practitioners' Seminar 2018
On the 19th and 20th of July, 2018, this year's labour law practitioners' seminar took place at the Federal Social Court of Germany in Kassel under the leadership Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Monika Schlachter. The seminar was opened by attorney at law Rolf-Christian Otto, who held a presentation on the reimbursement of worker’s council members. Following that, Dr. Thomas Klein spoke about the new legislation being planned in the coalition agreement concerning fixed term contracts, examined their constitutionality and presented his own suggestion for implementing the planned changes. The seminar was closed by Dominik Leist with a presentation on collective contracts for platform employees. In his presentation he highlighted constitutional and civil legal issues surrounding the regulation of collective unions of crowdworkers and discussed the use of European and national cartel prohibition laws.

Project-Workshop "Crowdsourcing as a New Form of Labour Organisation"

On Thursday the 12th of July, the IAAEU together with researchers from the University of Bremen hosted the Project-Workshop "Crowdsourcing as a New Form of Labour Organisation" in the institute's Max-Weber-Room. The goal of the workshop was the interdisciplinary examination of current questions surrounding crowdsourcing, from both economic and legal perspectives. The workshop was opened by Dr. Thomas Klein with his lecture "An Introduction to the Legal Problem of Minimum Wage for Crowdworkers de lege ferenda". In his talk, Dr. Klein first described the legal framework for arrangement model behind the contractual relationship into which crowdworkers enter in order to ascertain, in a second step, if current legal provisions would support the minimum wage for crowdworkers. Following that, Lisa Nagel presented her work on the question "Does Group Identification Affect the Performance of Crowdworkers?", whereby she studied whether a crowdworker’s identification with their platform influences work performance. Katrin Treppschuh examined four different US and British court decisions to determine the place of crowdworkers in their respective legal systems in her presentation "The Crowdworkers’ Legal Status in US American and British Jurisprudence". The first part of the workshop was closed by Eliza Stenzhorn’s presentation "How does Platform Design and Competition Affect the Welfare Distribution among Crowdworkers, Crowdsourcers and Platforms?", in which she studied the transferability of an crowdworker’s online reputation between platforms and the advantages and disadvantages associated with them. The second day of the workshop was opened by Dominik Leist with his contribution "Collective Contracts for Platform Employees". He described simple legal and constitutional rulings on crowdworker collective associations and investigated what role European monopoly laws could play in that context. The workshop was closed by Dr. Lars Hornuf with his presentation on the topic "Crowdsourced Innovation: How Community Managers Affect Crowd Activities". The individual presentations concluded with in-depth discussions among the workshop participants.


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Impressions of the workshop