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Abstract:

CEP Discussion Paper
Industrial Relations and Economic Performance
David Metcalf
March 1993
Paper No' CEPDP0129:

Post-war concern about our industrial relations system has been dominated by three issues - pay performance at workplace, company and national level, and industrial action. In each case the focus of interest is the link between the institutions, procedures and processes of the system and the outcomes that it generates. This paper evaluates evidence on these three issues for the last quarter of a century, since the publication of the Donovan Report in 1968. Special attention is given to information from successive WIRSs. The evidence suggests that (I) industrial action is of minor importance; (ii) the industrial relations system can no longer be held to stymie company performance; (iii) the pay/jobs trade-off is as intractable as ever.