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

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  • Schnabel, Claus
  • Wagner, Joachim

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 -- Unter Verwendung von ALLBUS-Daten der Jahre 1980 bis 2006 für Westdeutschland zeigt dieser Beitrag, dass Gewerkschaftsmitglieder im Durchschnitt älter sind als nicht gewerkschaftlich organisierte Beschäftigte. Die Wahrscheinlichkeit einer gewerkschaftlichen Mitgliedschaft weist nur in sehr wenigen Jahren den von Blanchflower (BJIR 2007) postulierten umgekehrt Uförmigen Zusammenhang mit dem Alter auf. Es wird gezeigt, dass Intra-Kohorten-Effekte und Kohortenersatz-Effekte eine ungefähr gleich große Rolle beim deutlichen Rückgang des gewerkschaftlichen Organisationsgrads seit 1980 gespielt haben. Falls weiterhin ältere Kohorten mit hohem Organisationsgrad durch Kohorten von Jüngeren mit geringem Organisationsgrad ersetzt werden, wird der durchschnittliche Organisationsgrad weiter zurückgehen.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik und Quantitative Wirtschaftsforschung (IWQW) in its series IWQW Discussion Paper Series with number 04/2008.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwqwdp:042008

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Web page: http://www.iwqw.rw.uni-erlangen.de/
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Keywords: union membership; union density; cohort effects; West Germany;

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References

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  1. 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).
  2. Martin Beck & Bernd Fitzenberger, 2004. "Changes in Union Membership Over Time: A Panel Analysis for West Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, CEIS, vol. 18(3), pages 329-362, 09.
  3. Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2007. "The Persistent Decline in Unionization in Western and Eastern Germany, 1980-2004 - What Can We Learn from a Decomposition Analysis?," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 14(2), pages 118 - 132.
  4. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2003. "Norm-Based Trade Union Membership: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 962, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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.
  6. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2007. "Trade Union Membership and Works Councils in West Germany," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 14(2), pages 154 - 175.
  7. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "The (Parlous) State of German Unions," Working Paper Series in Economics, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics 23, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  8. Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers 15, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  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, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 253-61, February.
  12. 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, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 14(2), pages 176 - 191.
  13. 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.
  14. 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).
  15. 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, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 14(2), pages 133 - 153.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 6(4), December.
  2. Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb, 2008. "Minimum Wages and their Alternatives: A Critical Assessment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2494, CESifo Group Munich.

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