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The Aging of the unions in West Germany, 1980-2006

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Author Info

  • Claus Schnabel

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

  • Joachim Wagner

    ()
    (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg)

Abstract

Using data from the social survey ALLBUS for West Germany in the period 1980 to 2006, this paper demonstrates that union members are on average older than non-unionized employees. The probability of being unionized shows the inverted U-shaped pattern in age conjectured by Blanchflower (BJIR 2007) only in very few years. It is demonstrated that both intra-cohort change and cohort replacement effects have played a roughly equal role in the substantial fall in union density since 1980. If older cohorts with high densities continue to be replaced by young cohorts with low densities, average union density will fall further.

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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 93.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:93

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Web page: http://leuphana.de/institute/ivwl.html

Related research

Keywords: union membership; union density; cohort effects; West Germany;

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References

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  1. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2007. "Trade union membership and work councils in West Germany," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 311, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
  2. Anke Hassel, 2007. "The Curse of Institutional Security - The Erosion of German Trade Unionism," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 14(2), pages 176 - 191.
  3. Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers 15, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  4. 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).
  5. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2006. "The persistent decline in unionization in western and eastern Germany, 1980-2004 : What can we learn from a decomposition analysis?," Discussion Papers 45, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  6. David G. Blanchflower, 2007. "International Patterns of Union Membership," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(1), pages 1-28, 03.
  7. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2003. "Norm-Based Trade Union Membership: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 962, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "The (Parlous) State of German Unions," Working Paper Series in Economics 23, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  9. Martin Beck & Bernd Fitzenberger, 2004. "Changes in Union Membership Over Time: A Panel Analysis for West Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 18(3), pages 329-362, 09.
  10. 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.
  11. Bernd Fitzenberger & Karsten Kohn & Qingwei Wang, 2011. "The erosion of union membership in Germany: determinants, densities, decompositions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 141-165, January.
  12. 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.
  13. 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).
  14. Hendrik Biebeler & Hagen Lesch, 2007. "Zwischen Mitgliedererosion und Ansehensverlust - Die deutschen Gewerkschaften im Umbruch," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 14(2), pages 133 - 153.
  15. Petri Böckerman & Roope Uusitalo, 2006. "Erosion of the Ghent System and Union Membership Decline: Lessons from Finland," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 44(2), pages 283-303, 06.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb, 2008. "Minimum Wages and their Alternatives: A Critical Assessment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2494, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2012. "With or Without U? Testing the Hypothesis of an Inverted U-Shaped Union Membership-Age Relationship," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 6(4), December.

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