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Wage-Setting Measures: A Survey and Assessment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 June 2011

Lane Kenworthy
Affiliation:
Emory University

Extract

Wage setting has been one of the most heavily studied institutions in the field of comparative political economy over the past two decades, and quantitative measures of wage-setting arrangements have played a major role in this research. Yet the proliferation of such measures in recent years presents researchers with a sizable array from which to choose. In addition, some scholars are rather skeptical about the validity and/or reliability of these measures. This article offers a survey and assessment of fifteen wage-setting measures. It attempts to answer questions about (1) how these indicators differ from one another in conceptualization and measurement strategy; (2) which are the most valid and reliable; (3) the strengths and weaknesses of measures of wage centralization versus those of wage coordination; (4) particular countries or time periods for which there are noteworthy discrepancies in scoring; (5) how sensitive empirical findings are to the choice of wage-setting measure.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Trustees of Princeton University 2001

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References

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2 Here and throughout the terms “measure” and “indicator” and used interchangeably.

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14 Iversen (fn. 9), 49.

15 Ibid., 84–85.

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17 OECD (fn. 7,1997).

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19 Traxler, Blaschke, and Kittel (fn. 10) have also created a separate, dichotomous indicator of “bargaining governability,” which refers to the presence or absence of sanctions on lower-level bargaining (p. 184).

20 Ibid., 112–13.

21 Ibid., 307.

22 Ibid., 112.

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30 Traxler, Blaschke, and Kittel (fn. 10), chap. 10.

31 Ibid., 148.

32 Ibid.

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40 Personal communication with Bemhard Kittel.

41 The coordination index assigns very high scores to the United States and Canada in certain years in the 1970s, whereas the centralization measures are consistently low for these two countries. That is because the U.S. and Canada each briefly imposed wage-price controls accompanied by a peace clause—a form of state-imposed coordination.

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48 Hall and Franzese (fn. 27). These variables and their original data sources are described in the Hall and Franzese article, and the data are available at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~franzese/ h8cf_data.TXT. The unemployment data are also from this source.

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50 See Achen, Christopher, “Why Lagged Dependent Variables Can Suppress the Explanatory Power of Other Independent Variables” (Manuscript, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan, 2000)Google Scholar; Beck and Katz (fn. 49), 645.

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52 For discussion, see Hall and Franzese (fn. 27).

53 Flanagan (fn. 1); Franzese, Robert J. Jr., “The Interaction of Credibly Conservative Monetary Policy with Labor- and Goods-Market Institutions: A Review of an Emerging Literature” (Manuscript, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan, 1999)Google Scholar; Iversen (fn. 9).

54 E.g., Traxler, Blaschke, and Kittel (fn. 10); and Western (fn. 1).

55 OECD, “Disparities in Regional Labour Markets,” in OECD Employment Outlook (Paris: OECD, 2000)Google Scholar; Streeck, Wolfgang and Schmitter, Philippe C., “From National Corporatism to Transnational Pluralism: Organized Interests in the Single European Market,” Politics and Society 19 (June 1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

56 Cawson, Alan, ed., Organized Interests and the State: Studies in Meso-Corporatism (Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1985)Google Scholar.

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