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Trade union membership and work councils in West Germany

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  • Goerke, Laszlo
  • Pannenberg, Markus

Abstract

The fraction of works councillors belonging to a trade union in Germany is much higher than union density among employees. If works councils represent the face of unions, union membership of employees should be related positively to the existence of works councils and their proximity to unions. Using data from the German Socio-Economic-Panel SOEP we find that (a) works councillors exhibit a higher probability of being a union member, (b) the mere existence of a works council within an establishment has no impact on union membership and (c) a 10 % decrease in the average share of unionised works councillors coincides with a 10 % fall in the probability of being a union member. Hence, the decline in the unionisation of works councillors and the fall in union density in West Germany are closely linked. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics in its series Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge with number 311.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuedps:311

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Keywords: panel data; trade union membership; works council;

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  1. Goerke, Laszlo, 1997. "An Open Shop, Wage Bargaining, and Taxation--A Note," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 651-57, October.
  2. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2003. "Norm-Based Trade Union Membership: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 962, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Daniele Checchi & Jelle Visser, 2002. "Pattern persistence in european trade union density," Departmental Working Papers 2002-01, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  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. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "The reform of the German works constitution act: a critical assessment," Discussion Papers 16, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  7. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1994. "Union Membership and Wage Bargaining When Membership is Not Compulsory," CEPR Discussion Papers 884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Holmlund, Bertil & Lundborg, Per, 1999. "Wage bargaining, union membership, and the organization of unemployment insurance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 397-415, September.
  10. Corneo, G., 1992. "Semi-Unionized Bargaining with Endogenous Membership and Management Opposition," DELTA Working Papers 92-13, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  11. Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Who are the workers who never joined a union? Empirical evidence from Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics 12, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. Daniele Checchi & Claudio Lucifora, 2002. "Unions and labour market institutions in Europe," Departmental Working Papers 2002-16, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  14. 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.
  15. Corneo, Giacomo G., 1997. "The theory of the open shop trade union reconsidered," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 71-84, March.
  16. William H. Greene, 1998. "Gender Economics Courses in Liberal Arts Colleges: Further Results," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 291-300, January.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers 15, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  20. 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.
  21. Naylor, R. & Cripps, M., 1991. "An Economic Theory of the Open Shop Trade Union," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 372, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  22. 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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