Collective Bargaining and the Interindustry Wage Structure: International Evidence



This paper studies collective bargaining and industry wage levels using microdata and quantile regression techniques for the United States, Britain, West Germany, Austria, Sweden and Norway for the 1980s. The United States has higher industry wage differentials and union wage effects than other countries, with particularly large impacts at the bottom of the distribution. European wage structures are more compressed at the bottom for both nonunion and union workers relative to the United States, with larger differences for nonunion workers. These findings suggest more coordination, contract extension and spillover to nonunion workers, and more binding industry wage floors outside the United States.