Collective bargaining, minimum wages, and public procurement in Germany: Regulatory adjustments to the neo-liberal drift of a coordinated market economy

Detlef Sack, Katharina Sarter

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    Abstract

    This article analyses different types of labour clauses in public procurement regulation that have been enacted in Germany, a coordinated market economy that has experienced a ‘neo-liberal drift’ including the decline of the traditional governance of labour and contracting-out. Based on an analysis of relevant regulations adopted by the 16 Germany federal states, the article corroborates insights into the prominent role of left parties advocating for labour clauses in public procurement on a much broader empirical fundament than previous research. It adds to scholarly knowledge by revealing that the relative comparative advantage of regions with lower wage levels inhibits labour clauses in federal political systems. It finds that centre-right parties are willing to stipulate certain labour clauses in order to protect small and medium enterprises which are core parts of their electoral support base.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)669-690
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Industrial Relations
    Volume60
    Issue number5
    Early online date8 Oct 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

    Keywords

    • Germany
    • minimum wage
    • multi-level governance
    • political parties
    • public procurement

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