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The Persistent Decline in Unionization in Western and Eastern Germany, 1980-2004: What Can We Learn from a Decomposition Analysis?

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  • Schnabel, Claus

    ()
    (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Wagner, Joachim

    ()
    (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

Abstract

An empirical analysis of various waves of the ALLBUS social survey shows that union density fell substantially in western Germany from 1980 to 2004 and in eastern Germany from 1992 to 2004. Such a negative trend can be observed for men and women and for different groups of the workforce. Regression estimates indicate that the probability of union membership is related to a number of personal and occupational variables such as age, public sector employment and being a blue collar worker (significant in western Germany only). A decomposition analysis shows that differences in union density over time and between eastern and western Germany to a large degree cannot be explained by differences in the characteristics of employees. Contrary to wide-spread perceptions, changes in the composition of the workforce seem to have played a minor role in the fall in union density in western and eastern Germany.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2388.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industrielle Beziehungen, 2007, 14(2), 118-132
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2388

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Keywords: union membership; union density; Germany; decomposition;

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References

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  1. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2005. "Who Are the Workers Who Never Joined a Union? Empirical Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1658, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "The (Parlous) State of German Unions," Working Paper Series in Economics, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics 23, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  3. 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, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  4. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2004. "Norm-Based Trade Union Membership: Evidence for Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(4), pages 481-504, November.
  5. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, December.
  6. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten & Wang, Qingwei, 2006. "The Erosion of Union Membership in Germany: Determinants, Densities, Decompositions," IZA Discussion Papers 2193, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "Trade union membership in Eastern and Western Germany: convergence or divergence?," Discussion Papers, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics 18, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Nicola-Maria Riley, 1997. "Determinants of Union Membership: A Review," LABOUR, CEIS, CEIS, vol. 11(2), pages 265-301, 06.
  10. Fairlie, Robert, 2014. "The Absence of the African-American Owned Business: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Self-Employment," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt49c4n0fg, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  11. Ben Jann, 2006. "FAIRLIE: Stata module to generate nonlinear decomposition of binary outcome differentials," Statistical Software Components, Boston College Department of Economics S456727, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 26 May 2008.
  12. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "German Works Councils Old and New: Incidence, Coverage and Determinants," IZA Discussion Papers 495, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics 15, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  14. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "Determinants of Trade Union Membership in Western Germany: Evidence from Micro Data, 1980-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 708, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2012. "Trade Union Membership and Sickness Absence: Evidence from a Sick Pay Reform," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 470, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2008. "The Aging of the Unions in West Germany, 1980-2006," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 228(5+6), pages 497-511, December.
  3. Baltagi, Badi H. & Blien, Uwe & Wolf, Katja, 2012. "A dynamic spatial panel data approach to the German wage curve," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 12-21.

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