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Slip Sliding Away: Further Union Decline in Germany and Britain

  • John T. Addison
  • Alex Bryson
  • André Pahnke
  • Paulino Teixeira

This paper presents the first comparative analysis of the decline in collective bargaining in two European countries where that decline has been most pronounced. Using workplace-level data and a common model, we present decompositions of changes in collective bargaining and worker representation in the private sector in Germany and Britain over the period 1998-2004. In both countries within-effects dominate compositional changes as the source of the recent decline in unionism. Overall, the decline in collective bargaining is more pronounced in Britain than in Germany, thus continuing a trend apparent since the 1980s. Although workplace characteristics differ markedly across the two countries, assuming counterfactual values of these characteristics makes little difference to unionization levels. Expressed differently, the German dummy looms large.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0971.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0971
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Addison, John T. & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2006. "The (Parlous) State of German Unions," IZA Discussion Papers 2000, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. John T. Addison & Alex Bryson & Paulino Teixeira & André Pahnke & Lutz Bellman, 2009. "The extent of collective bargaining and workplace representation: transitions between states and their determinants. A comparative analysis of Germany and Great Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27779, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. 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).
  4. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003. "Why Have Workers Stopped Joining Unions?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0589, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Susanne Kohaut & Claus Schnabel, 2003. "Tarifverträge - nein danke!?, Ausmaß und Einflussfaktoren der Tarifbindung west- und ostdeutscher Betriebe," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 223(3), pages 312-331, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  9. Paul Willman & Alex Bryson, 2006. "Accounting for collective action: resource acquisition and mobilization in British unions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19772, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. repec:nsr:niesrd:341 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Brown , W. & Bryson , A. & Forth , J., 2008. "Competition and the Retreat from Collective Bargaining," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0831, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  12. Stephen Machin, 2000. "Union decline in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20191, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. Schnabel, Claus & Zagelmeyer, Stefan & Kohaut, Susanne, 2005. "Collective bargaining structure and its determinants : an empirical analysis with British and German establishment data," IAB Discussion Paper 200516, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  14. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2005. "Why have workers stopped joining unions? Accounting for the rise in never-membership in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 360, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. 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.
  16. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2005. "Why Have Workers Stopped Joining Unions? The Rise in Never-Membership in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(1), pages 67-92, 03.
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