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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. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1995. "Union Membership and Wage Bargaining When Membership is Not Compulsory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 345-60, March.
  2. Holmlund, Bertil & Lundborg, Per, 1999. "Wage bargaining, union membership, and the organization of unemployment insurance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 397-415, September.
  3. 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.
  4. Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Who are the workers who never joined a union? Empirical evidence from Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics 12, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  5. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Beck, Martin, 2003. "Changes in Union Membership Over Time: A Panel Analysis for West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research 03-42, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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  8. Giacomo Corneo, 1993. "Semi-unionized bargaining with endogenous membership and management opposition," Journal of Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 169-188, June.
  9. 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.
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  12. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten & Wang, Qingwei, 2006. "The Erosion of Union Membership in Germany: Determinants, Densities, Decompositions," ZEW Discussion Papers, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research 06-66, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Corneo, Giacomo G., 1997. "The theory of the open shop trade union reconsidered," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 71-84, March.
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  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Daniele Checchi & Jelle Visser, 2002. "Pattern persistence in european trade union density," Departmental Working Papers, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano 2002-01, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  20. Jones, Stephen R G & McKenna, C J, 1994. "A Dynamic Model of Union Membership and Employment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(242), pages 179-89, May.
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