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Determinants of Union Membership in 18 EU Countries: Evidence from Micro Data, 2002/03

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  • Schnabel, Claus

    ()
    (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Wagner, Joachim

    ()
    (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

Abstract

Using representative individual-level data from the first round of the European Social Survey fielded in 2002/03, this paper provides an empirical analysis of unionization in 18 countries of the European Union. We show that union density varies considerably in Europe, ranging from 84 per cent in Denmark to 11 per cent in Portugal. Estimating identical models for each country, we find that individuals’ probability of union membership is significantly affected by their personal characteristics, their attitudes and the characteristics of their workplace, whereas social factors seem to play a minor role. The presence of a union at the workplace and employees’ attitudes concerning strong unions are the two variables with the most wide-spread effects on unionization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1464.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industrial Relations Journal, 2007, 38 (1), 5-32
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1464

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Keywords: union membership; union density; Europe;

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References

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  1. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez & Morley Gunderson & Noah Meltz, 2002. "Youth-adult differences in the demand for unionisation: are American, British, and Canadian workers all that different?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 20095, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Daniele Checchi & Claudio Lucifora, 2002. "Unions and labour market institutions in Europe," Departmental Working Papers, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano 2002-16, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  3. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2003. "Training in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 933, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Naylor, R. & Cripps, M., 1991. "An Economic Theory of the Open Shop Trade Union," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS), University of Warwick, Department of Economics 372, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "Trade Union Membership in Eastern and Western Germany: Convergence or Divergence?," IZA Discussion Papers 707, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Naylor, Robin & Raaum, Oddbjorn, 1993. "The Open Shop Union, Wages, and Management Opposition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(4), pages 589-604, October.
  7. Daniele Checchi & Jelle Visser, 2002. "Pattern persistence in european trade union density," Departmental Working Papers, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano 2002-01, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  8. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1995. "Union Membership and Wage Bargaining When Membership is Not Compulsory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 345-60, March.
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  11. Jones, Stephen R G & McKenna, C J, 1994. "A Dynamic Model of Union Membership and Employment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(242), pages 179-89, May.
  12. Bernhard Ebbinghaus & Jelle Visser, 1998. "When Institutions Matter: Union Growth and Decline in Western Europe, 1950-95," MZES Working Papers, MZES 30, MZES.
  13. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Naylor, Robin, 1990. "A social custom model of collective action," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 201-216, October.
  15. Nicola-Maria Riley, 1997. "Determinants of Union Membership: A Review," LABOUR, CEIS, CEIS, vol. 11(2), pages 265-301, 06.
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  18. Booth, Alison L, 1985. "The Free Rider Problem and a Social Custom Model of Trade Union Membership," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 253-61, February.
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  21. 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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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Joachim Wagner, 2011. "From Estimation Results to Stylized Facts Twelve Recommendations for Empirical Research in International Activities of Heterogeneous Firms," De Economist, Springer, Springer, vol. 159(4), pages 389-412, December.
  2. Blanchflower, David G., 2006. "A Cross-Country Study of Union Membership," IZA Discussion Papers 2016, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2010. "Trade Union Membership and Dismissals," IZA Discussion Papers 5222, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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