Symposium »The Economics of Mandated Codetermination«
The analysis of codetermination in general and of mandated works councils in particular has long been a neglected topic in labour and personnel economics. However, with the availability of a number of large and representative firm panels the situation has changed considerably over the last five to ten years. Although our knowledge as to the economic consequences of worker involvement in decision making processes at the firm level is still limited, we have witnessed a rapid increase in the number and - even more important - the quality - of the studies published recently.
The papers assembled in this special issue have been presented and discussed at a conference entitled "The Economics of Mandatory Works Council" that was held at the University of Witten/Herdecke on February, 20th, 2002. It appears from the studies - written by some of the leading experts in the field - that works councils are neither generally detrimental nor completely advantageous to firms. The findings presented in the different papers not only contradict the theoretical paradigms but also prove that further research should address in particular the interaction between management and worker representatives - an area that has not been touched so far.