- Wage and workforce adjustments in the economic crisis in Germany and the Netherlands
- European Journal of Industrial Relations
- Volume | Issue number
- 20 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS)
This study uses data from a continuous employee web-survey to investigate the trade-off between wage and workforce adjustments and the role of industrial relations in firm-level responses to the economic crisis in Germany and the Netherlands. Workforce adjustments seemed to be a continuous organizational strategy, but wage adjustments were less often reported. We found no large-scale evidence of wage concessions being traded-off for job protection in the two countries. Collective bargaining ensured that wage-setting was more robust than employment protection: employees covered by collective agreements reported workforce adjustments more often than wage adjustments. Low-educated and low-wage employees reported basic wage reductions more often: the economic crisis increased wage inequality. Labour hoarding was reported predominantly by young, male employees with a permanent, full-time contract.
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