Collective Bargaining through the Magnifying Glass: A Comparison between the Netherlands and Portugal.- Alexander Hijzen, Pedro S. Martins, Jante Parlevliet

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  • Last update: 17 November 2017
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  • Author: Alexander Hijzen, Pedro S. Martins, Jante Parlevliet


This paper contributes to a deeper understanding of sector-level bargaining systems and their role for labour market performance. We compare two countries with seemingly similar collective bargaining systems, the Netherlands and Portugal, and document a number of features that may affect labour market outcomes, including: i) the scope for flexibility at the firm or worker level within sector-level agreements; ii) the emphasis on representativeness as a criterion for extensions; iii) the effectiveness of coordination across bargaining units; and iv) pro-active government policies to enhance trust and cooperation between the social partners.

Keywords: Industrial relations, social dialogue, employment