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Slip Sliding Away: Further Union Decline in Germany and Britain

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  • John T. Addison

    ()
    (Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, Queen’s University School of Management, IZA, and GEMF)

  • Alex Bryson

    (National Institute of Economic and Social Research and CEP)

  • Paulino Teixeira

    ()
    (Faculdade de Economia/GEMF, University of Coimbra)

  • André Pahnke

    (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Bundesagentur für Arbeit)

Abstract

This paper presents the first comparative analysis of the decline in collective bargaining in two European countries where that decline has been most pronounced. Using workplace-level data and a common model, we present decompositions of changes in collective bargaining and worker representation in the private sector in Germany and Britain over the period 1998-2004. In both countries within-effects dominate compositional changes as the source of the recent decline in unionism. Overall, the decline in collective bargaining is more pronounced in Britain than in Germany, thus continuing a trend apparent since the 1980s. Although workplace characteristics differ markedly across the two countries, assuming counterfactual values of these characteristics makes little difference to unionization levels. Expressed differently, the German dummy looms large.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra in its series GEMF Working Papers with number 2010-02.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Scottish Journal of Political Economy 58(4): 490-518, 2011.
Handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2010-02

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References

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  1. Stephen Machin, 2000. "Union Decline in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 631-645, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Susanne Kohaut & Claus Schnabel, 2003. "Tarifverträge - nein danke!?, Ausmaß und Einflussfaktoren der Tarifbindung west- und ostdeutscher Betriebe," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 223(3), pages 312-331, May.
  4. John T. Addison & Lutz Bellman & Alex Bryson & André Pahnke & Paulino Teixeira, 2009. "The Extent of Collective Bargaining and Workplace Representation: Transitions between States and their Determinants. A Comparative Analysis of Germany and Great Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0954, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003. "Why Have Workers Stopped Joining Unions?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0589, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Ben Jann, 2006. "FAIRLIE: Stata module to generate nonlinear decomposition of binary outcome differentials," Statistical Software Components S456727, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 26 May 2008.
  7. Alex Bryson & P Willman, 2006. "Accounting for Collective Action: Resource Acquisition and Mobilization in British Unions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0768, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  9. repec:nsr:niesrd:341 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Who are the workers who never joined a union? Empirical evidence from Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics 12, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  11. Addison, John T. & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2006. "The (Parlous) State of German Unions," IZA Discussion Papers 2000, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  13. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2005. "Why Have Workers Stopped Joining Unions? The Rise in Never-Membership in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(1), pages 67-92, 03.
  14. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2005. "Why have workers stopped joining unions? Accounting for the rise in never-membership in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 360, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Brown , W. & Bryson , A. & Forth , J., 2008. "Competition and the Retreat from Collective Bargaining," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0831, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  16. Schnabel, Claus & Zagelmeyer, Stefan & Kohaut, Susanne, 2005. "Collective bargaining structure and its determinants : an empirical analysis with British and German establishment data," IAB Discussion Paper 200516, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
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Cited by:
  1. Ceyhun Elgin, 2012. "Unionization and Informal Economy," Working Papers 2012/11, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  2. Addison, John T. & Bryson, Alex & Teixeira, Paulino & Pahnke, André & Bellmann, Lutz, 2010. "The State of Collective Bargaining and Worker Representation in Germany: The Erosion Continues," IZA Discussion Papers 5030, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Brändle, Tobias & Baumann, Florian, 2013. "Union Bargaining and Intra-Industry Productivity Differentials: Theory and Evidence from Germany," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79852, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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