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Slip Sliding Away: Further Union Decline in Germany and Britain

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Author Info

  • Addison, John T.

    ()
    (University of South Carolina)

  • Bryson, Alex

    ()
    (National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR))

  • Teixeira, Paulino

    ()
    (University of Coimbra)

  • Pahnke, André

    ()
    (IfM Bonn)

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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4760.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 2011, 58 (4), 490 - 518
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4760

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Related research

Keywords: union recognition; behavioral and composition effects; worker representation; shift share analysis; patterns of erosion; union coverage;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Addison, John T. & Bryson, Alex & Teixeira, Paulino & Pahnke, André & Bellmann, Lutz, 2009. "The Extent of Collective Bargaining and Workplace Representation: Transitions between States and their Determinants. A Comparative Analysis of Germany and Great Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 4502, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Paul Willman & Alex Bryson, 2006. "Accounting for collective action: resource acquisition and mobilization in British unions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19772, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Stephen Machin, 2000. "Union Decline in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 631-645, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003. "Why have workers stopped joining unions?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20022, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. 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.
  13. Stephen Machin, 2000. "Union decline in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20191, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. 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.
  15. 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].
  16. repec:nsr:niesrd:341 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Ceyhun Elgin, 2012. "Unionization and informal economy," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2615-2623.

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