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Trabajo y sociedad

versión On-line ISSN 1514-6871


MARSHALL, Adriana. The wage:productivity relationship: wage incentives in collective agreements. Trab. soc. [online]. 2016, n.26, pp.5-22. ISSN 1514-6871.

In this article I analyze productivity-based wage incentives included in collective agreements signed in the Argentinean manufacturing industry during 2003-2012. First, the long-term comparative evolution of real wages and labor productivity in Argentina is examined to provide the historical context to wage-productivity bargaining. Next, precedents to wage-productivity bargaining in this country are discussed. Third, I focus in 2003-2012 to analyze how frequently were productivity-based wage incentives included in collective agreements, the incidence of the incentives based on individual performance and that of those based on collective productivity, the level (industry-wide or firm) at which they had been convened, and the degree of specification of the method to calculate productivity and the wage premium. Last, the limitations hindering the evaluation of the effects, at different levels, of the examined productivity-based wage incentives are discussed. Results suggest that those wage incentives were negotiated predominantly at firm level, which permitted a high degree of specification of the methodology for calculating the wage premium, and were most often based on collective rather than individual productivity, and therefore their potential for preserving or increasing the wage share in the enterprises´ value added would be greater than that for fostering wage differentiation within each firm. Nonetheless, this form of wage bargaining was confined to a small number of firms within each manufacturing industry, despite the fact that the signing trade unions operate in a relatively large spectrum of industrial activities. This limited diffusion would derive in part from the restrictions faced by wage-productivity bargaining in high inflation regimes such as that characterizing the Argentinean economy.

Palabras clave : Wage incentives; Collective agreements; Collective bargaining; Wages; Labor productivity.

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