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Determinants of Trade Union Membership in Western Germany: Evidence from Micro Data, 1980-2000

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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 West Germany from 1980 to 2000. Such a negative trend can be observed for men and women and for different groups of the workforce. Repeated crosssectional analyses suggest that a number of personal, occupational and attitudinal variables such as sex, occupational status, firm size and political orientation play a role in the unionization process, although the influence of many variables is not robust over time. While the results are consistent with cost-benefit considerations on the sides of employees and unions, individualization theory and social custom theory is not consistently supported by our estimations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 708.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Socio-Economic Review, 2005, 3 (1), 1-24
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp708

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Keywords: Germany; micro data; trade union membership;

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References

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  1. Bulkley, George & Myles, Gareth D., 2001. "Individually rational union membership," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 117-137, March.
  2. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "Trade union membership in Eastern and Western Germany: convergence or divergence?," Discussion Papers 18, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  3. Monroe Berkowitz, 1954. "The economics of trade union organization and administration," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 7(4), pages 575-578, July.
  4. Ebbinghaus, Bernhard, 2002. "Dinosaurier der Dienstleistungsgesellschaft? Der Mitgliederschwund deutscher Gewerkschaften im historischen und internationalen Vergleich," MPIfG Working Paper 02/3, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  5. Neumann, George R & Rissman, Ellen R, 1984. "Where Have All the Union Members Gone?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 175-92, April.
  6. Naylor, Robin & Cripps, Martin, 1993. "An economic theory of the open shop trade union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1599-1620, December.
  7. Wagner, Joachim, 1990. "Gewerkschaftsmitgliedschaft und Arbeitseinkommen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Eine ökonometrische Analyse mit Individualdaten," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-155, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  8. 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.
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  10. Naylor, R., 1989. "A Social Custom Model Of Collective Action," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 327, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  11. Booth, Alison L, 1985. "The Free Rider Problem and a Social Custom Model of Trade Union Membership," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 253-61, February.
  12. Moreton, David, 1999. "A Model of Labour Productivity and Union Density in British Private Sector Unionised Establishments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 322-44, April.
  13. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1993. "Reputation, Membership and Wages in Open Shop Trade Union," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(1), pages 23-41, January.
  14. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2004. "Training in Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 346-360, 04/05.
  15. 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).
  16. Jones, Stephen R G & McKenna, C J, 1994. "A Dynamic Model of Union Membership and Employment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(242), pages 179-89, May.
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  18. Nicola-Maria Riley, 1997. "Determinants of Union Membership: A Review," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 11(2), pages 265-301, 06.
  19. Jelle Visser, 2002. "Why Fewer Workers Join Unions in Europe: A Social Custom Explanation of Membership Trends," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 40(3), pages 403-430, 09.
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