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Risk Aversion and Trade Union Membership

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  • Laszlo Goerke
  • Markus Pannenberg

Abstract

In an open-shop model of trade union membership with heterogeneity in risk attitudes, a worker's relative risk aversion can affect the decision to join a trade union. Furthermore, a shift in risk attitudes can alter collective bargaining outcomes. Using German panel data (GSOEP) and three novel direct measures of individual risk aversion, we find evidence of a significantly positive relationship between risk aversion and the likelihood of union membership. Additionally, we observe a negative correlation between bargained wages in aggregate and average risk preferences of union members. Our results suggest that an overall increase in risk aversion contributes to wage moderation and promotes employment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 88.

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Length: 23 p.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp88

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Keywords: Employment; membership; risk aversion; trade union;

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References

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  1. Sampson, Anthony A, 1983. "Employment Policy in a Model with a Rational Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(37), pages 297-311, June.
  2. Agell, Jonas & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1992. "Union Egalitarianism as Income Insurance," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(235), pages 295-310, August.
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  16. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten & Wang, Qingwei, 2006. "The Erosion of Union Membership in Germany: Determinants, Densities, Decompositions," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-66, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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  19. Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers 15, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
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  21. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2008. "Lost In State Space: Are Preferences Stable?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 1091-1112, 08.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Shelly Lundberg, 2012. "Personality and marital surplus," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-21, December.
  2. Uwe Jirjahn, 2013. "Der Beitrag der Arbeitsmarktökonomik zur Erforschung von Gewerkschaften und Tarifvertragsbeziehungen in Deutschland," Research Papers in Economics 2013-03, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
  3. Jörg Baten & Andreas Böhm, 2008. "Trends of Children’s Height and Parental Unemployment: A Large-Scale Anthropometric Study on Eastern Germany, 1994 – 2006," CESifo Working Paper Series 2189, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Jörg Baten & Andreas Böhm, 2010. "Children's Height and Parental Unemployment: A Large-Scale Anthropometric Study on Eastern Germany, 1994-2006," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 1-24, 02.
  5. Pfeifer, Christian, 2008. "A Note on Risk Aversion and Labour Market Outcomes: Further Evidence from German Survey Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3523, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Schnabel, Claus, 2012. "Union membership and density: Some (not so) stylized facts and challenges," Discussion Papers 81, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.

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