Collective bargaining & equal pay

Welcome to the webpage of the research project

“Experimental studies on the impact of collective bargaining on the gender wage gap”.


For Germany, a recently published OECD-study showed that the gender wage gap for full-time employees is still about 22 percent; the OECD-average is 16 percent. While the gender wage gap is significantly lower under collective bargaining, we also observe gender wage differentials under collectively negotiated contracts.

The aim of the project is to analyze bargaining processes and their impact on gender wage differentials. In particular, we want to identify potential leverages for a reduction of the remaining gender wage gap under collective bargaining agreements. An important aspect is the gender segregation in pay grades. Whereas men and women are paid equally within grades, the classification of jobs will probably play a crucial role.

The research project conducts stylized negotiations to gain insights in wage formation processes. Based on economic experiments, we investigate in particular the following questions: Why and how might a gender wage gap arise from or in spite of collective bargaining? Can the gender wage gap be reduced by increasing transparency?

The research team combines expertise in the fields of experimental economic research and traditional labour market research. The close collaboration with social partners provides an important input for the project.