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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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Author Info

  • Joachim Wagner

    ()
    (Institute of Economics, University of Lüneburg)

  • Claus Schnabel

    ()
    (Chair of Labour and Regional Economics, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg)

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 charakteristics 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 University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 31.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 23 Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:31

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Related research

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

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References

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  1. Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers 15, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  2. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, December.
  3. 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).
  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. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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).
  9. 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).
  10. Fairlie, Robert W, 1999. "The Absence of the African-American Owned Business: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Self-Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 80-108, January.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Nicola-Maria Riley, 1997. "Determinants of Union Membership: A Review," LABOUR, CEIS, CEIS, vol. 11(2), pages 265-301, 06.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2008. "The aging of the unions in West Germany, 1980-2006," IWQW Discussion Paper Series 04/2008, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik und Quantitative Wirtschaftsforschung (IWQW).
  2. Badi H. Baltagi & Uwe Blien & Katja Wolf, 2010. "A Dynamic Spatial Panel Data Approach to the German Wave Curve," Center for Policy Research Working Papers, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University 126, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  3. 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).

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