This note summarises the research presented in a policy workshop held last week in Brussels. The studies were conducted under the ‘Economic Analysis of Collective Bargaining Extensions’ (CoBExt) project, funded by the European Union, and focused on the cases of Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
In my introduction, I presented a comparison of collective bargaining (CB) across the four countries. Despite generally low trade union density rates, particularly in the private sector, these countries exhibit very high CB coverage, precisely because of widespread and nearly automatic (explicit or implicit) extensions. The exceptions to these practices were Greece and Portugal but only during their adjustment programmes, when extensions were entirely suspended (Greece) or made conditional on representativeness criteria similar to other EU Member States (Portugal). In Greece, firm-level CB agreements were also boosted through the suspension of the favourability principle, which allowed for greater differentiation in working conditions across firms.
On Wednesday 14th of March, Prof. Claudio Lucifora (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart Milan) will be presenting his research.
Using a unique 12-years panel of personnel records from a large French company, we find that becoming mother (extensive fertility margins) largely affects labour market outcomes. Instead, fatherhood does not significantly impact on men’s wages or careers. An event study approach with the use of non-parents as control group enables us to show that, prior to childbirth, future mothers’ earnings are in line with that of non-mothers. However, one year after birth, they start to fall, reaching -9% in total pay and -30% in individual bonuses. This drop is persistent: 8 years after childbirth there is no evidence of a catching-up trend. Mothers also have lower chances to climb-up the hierarchy of the firm and be promoted to managerial positions. A decomposition of the motherhood penalty shows that these “missed promotions”, likely due to an increase in absenteeism during the child’s pre-school age, are the main determinants of mothers’ lower outcomes within the firm.
Lucifota, C., Meurs, D. and Villar, E. (Jan, 2018)