IZA DP No. 1968: Does the Quality of Industrial Relations Matter for the Macro Economy? A Cross-Country Analysis Using Strikes Data
published as 'Are Good Industrial Relations Good for the Economy?' in: German Economic Review, 2009, 10 (3), 253 - 269
Using international data, we investigate whether the quality of industrial relations matters for the macro economy. We measure industrial relations inversely by strikes – which proxy we cross-check with an industrial relations reputation indicator – and our macro performance outcome is the unemployment rate. Independent of the role of other institutions, good industrial relations do seem to matter: greater strike volume is associated with higher unemployment. Holding country effects constant, however, the sign of the variable is reversed. This fixed-effects result likely picks up a direct effect of strikes, namely, their tendency to rise when striking becomes more attractive to the union.