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Collective Bargaining, Macroeconomic Performance, and the Sectoral Composition of Trade Unions



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      The authors’ affiliations are, respectively, Department of Industrial Sociology, University of Vienna, Bruenner Strasse 72, A-1210 Vienna, Austria. E-mails:, This paper is an outcome of the project “The sector-related determinants of collective bargaining,” funded by the Fonds zur Förderung wissenschaftlicher Forschung, Grant No. P16571-G04.



Strong exposed-sector unions and weak public-sector unions are seen as having beneficial effects on macroeconomic performance. Although these effects must work through the bargaining structure, the interaction with union composition is unclarified. This paper argues that the interaction effect qualitatively differs with the bargaining type. The findings show that the performance of pattern bargaining significantly increases with growing exposed-sector union strength whereas uncoordinated bargaining and centrally coordinated bargaining do not interact with union composition.