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Slip sliding away: further union decline in Germany and Britain

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Addison, John T. & Bryson, Alex & Teixeira, Paulino & Pahnke, André, 2010. "Slip sliding away: further union decline in Germany and Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27775, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:27775
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    Cited by:

    1. John T Addison & Paulino Teixeira & André Pahnke & Lutz Bellmann, 2017. "The demise of a model? The state of collective bargaining and worker representation in Germany," Economic and Industrial Democracy, Department of Economic History, Uppsala University, Sweden, vol. 38(2), pages 193-234, May.
    2. Florian Baumann & Tobias Brändle, 2017. "We Want Them All Covered! Collective Bargaining and Firm Heterogeneity: Theory and Evidence from Germany," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 55(3), pages 463-499, September.
    3. Tobias Brändle & Laszlo Goerke, 2018. "The one constant: a causal effect of collective bargaining on employment growth? Evidence from German linked‐employer‐employee data," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 65(5), pages 445-478, November.
    4. John T. Addison & Alex Bryson & Paulino Teixeira & André Pahnke & Lutz Bellmann, 2013. "The Extent of Collective Bargaining and Workplace Representation: Transitions between States and their Determinants. A Comparative Analysis of Germany and Great Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(2), pages 182-209, May.
    5. Fitzenberger Bernd & Sommerfeld Katrin, 2016. "A Sequential Decomposition of the Drop in Collective Bargaining Coverage," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 236(1), pages 37-69, February.
    6. Alex Bryson & Harald Dale-Olsen & Kristine Nergaard, 2016. "Gender Differences in the Union Wage Premium? A Comparative Case Study," DoQSS Working Papers 16-15, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    7. Ceyhun Elgin, 2012. "Unionization and informal economy," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2615-2623.
    8. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Alex Bryson & André Pahnke, 2013. "Collective Agreement Status and Survivability: Change and Persistence in the German Model," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 27(3), pages 288-309, September.
    9. Erling Barth & Alex Bryson & Harald Dale-Olsen, 2020. "Do Public Subsidies of Union Membership Increase Union Membership Rates?," DoQSS Working Papers 20-14, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    10. Fei Peng & Sajid Anwar & Lili Kang, 2020. "Job Movement and Real Wage Flexibility in Eastern and Western Parts of Germany," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 44(4), pages 764-789, October.
    11. Erling Barth & Alex Bryson & Harald Dale-Olsen, 2017. "Union Density, Productivity, and Wages," DoQSS Working Papers 17-11, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    12. Brändle, Tobias & Baumann, Florian, 2013. "Union Bargaining and Intra-Industry Productivity Differentials: Theory and Evidence from Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79852, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. John Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Jens Stephani & Lutz Bellmann, 2015. "Declining Unions and the Coverage Wage Gap: Can German Unions Still Cut It?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 301-317, September.
    14. Brändle, Tobias & Goerke, Laszlo, 2018. "The One Constant: A Causal Effect of Collective Bargaining on Employment Growth?," IZA Discussion Papers 11518, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Ellguth Peter & Kohaut Susanne, 2019. "A Note on the Decline of Collective Bargaining Coverage: The Role of Structural Change," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 239(1), pages 39-66, January.
    16. Arntz, Melanie & Lipowski, Cäcilia & Neidhöfer, Guido & Zierahn, Ulrich, 2022. "Computers as stepping stones? Technological change and equality of labor market opportunities," ZEW Discussion Papers 22-014, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Union recognition; union coverage; worker representation in works councils/ joint consultative committees; patterns of erosion; behavioral and composition effects; shift share analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General

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