Has Globalization Affected Collective Bargaining? An Empirical Test, 1980–2009

TitleHas Globalization Affected Collective Bargaining? An Empirical Test, 1980–2009
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsHessami, Zohal, and Baskaran, Thushyanthan
JournalThe World Economy
VolumeArticle first published online: 16 DEC 2014
Date Published2014/12/16/
Keywordscollective bargaining, globalization, union density, unionization

We investigate whether globalization has affected the nature of collective bargaining in OECD and emerging countries. The main innovations over the existing empirical literature are (i) the consideration of three distinct aspects of collective bargaining (union density, decentralized bargaining and the extent of government intervention), (ii) the reliance on a sample with a larger cross-sectional and time dimension (44 countries from 1980 to 2009), and (iii) the application of a more appropriate empirical methodology (dynamic panel data models). We find that globalization, on average, depresses unionization but neither affects the degree of decentralization nor government intervention in collective bargaining. We also uncover significant effect heterogeneity, both across countries and over time.