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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
  • Wagner, Joachim

Abstract

An empirical analysis of various waves of the ALLBUS social survey shows that union density fell substantially in Germany from 1980 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. -- Eine empirische Analyse mehrerer Wellen der ALLBUS-Befragung zeigt, dass der gewerkschaftliche Organisationsgrad in Deutschland von 1980 bis 2004 deutlich zurückgegangen ist, und zwar bei Männern wie Frauen und in verschiedenen Arbeitnehmergruppen. Regressionsschätzungen deuten darauf hin, dass die Wahrscheinlichkeit der Mitgliedschaft in einer Gewerkschaft mit einer Reihe von persönlichen und beruflichen Merkmalen zusammenhängt wie Alter, Beschäftigung im öffentlichen Dienst und Arbeiter-Status (nur signifikant in Westdeutschland). Eine Zerlegung macht deutlich, dass Unterschiede im Organisationsgrad im Zeitablauf sowie zwischen West- und Ostdeutschland zum größten Teil nicht durch unterschiedliche Merkmale der Beschäftigten erklärt werden können. Veränderungen der Beschäftigtenstruktur scheinen demnach eine unerwartet geringe Rolle beim Rückgang des Organisationsgrades gespielt zu haben.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 45.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:faulre:45

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Web page: http://www.arbeitsmarkt.wiso.uni-erlangen.de/english-version/
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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, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. Nicola-Maria Riley, 1997. "Determinants of Union Membership: A Review," LABOUR, CEIS, CEIS, vol. 11(2), pages 265-301, 06.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, December.
  9. 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).
  10. 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).
  11. 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.
  12. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2003. "Norm-Based Trade Union Membership: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 962, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers 15, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  14. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2012. "Trade Union Membership and Sickness Absence: Evidence from a Sick Pay Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 3909, CESifo Group Munich.

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