Labor Practices and Outcomes across Countries

Richard B. Freeman, Douglas Kruse and Joseph Blasi

in International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226261942
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226261959 | DOI:
Labor Practices and Outcomes across Countries

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This chapter explores country differences in the labor practices, attitudes toward work, and the economic performance of workers and establishments in a data set that covers 29,353 workers in a single multinational firm. The data set has a rich variety of measures, including an innovative measure of responses to coworker shirking with results from nineteen countries. The employment relations, worker attitudes, and performance of workers varied more across countries than among states/regions in the United States and were linked in ways that suggested that workers across these countries respond to policies in broadly similar ways. Analysis of establishment averages showed that the strong relation between good labor–management relations and employee behavior or outcomes holds at the establishment level as well, while the relationship of high performance workplaces and above market compensation to employee behavior generally fails to generalize to the establishment. The results on high performance practices and compensation, however, were more mixed.

Keywords: labor practices; countries; multinational firms; economic performance; work attitudes

Chapter.  12576 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Economics

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