For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

The Economics of Codetermination: Lessons from the German Experience

by Addison, John (2009)


Mixing economic theory and empirical analysis, this book tackles the economics and econometrics of codetermination, rooted in the German Mitbestimmung. The core themes are an examination of the theory and practice of co-determination at plant (work councils) and enterprise (worker directors) levels.

Key Passage

“We saw that workplace codetermination or betriebliche Mitbestimmung has a long history--at a pinch, almost as long as German democracy itself--although company codetermination or Unternehmensmitbestimmung is of altogether more recent vintage having initially been introduced in the coal and steel industries in the immediate postwar period to avert the threat of being broken up by the occupation authorities. Over the course of time, both types of codetermination have been subject to legislative review. Workplace codetermination has been strengthened, albeit not monotonically, while the reach of company codetermination has been extended beyond the narrow purview of coal, iron, and steel through quasi-parity worker board representation in larger companies (> 2000 employees) and one-third worker board representation in their somewhat smaller counterparts (> 500 employees).”  (p.141)


Economics, Codetermination, German Context, Work Councils, Work Directors, European Context, Union


Workers' Council, Unionism, Codetermination

Links to Reference



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