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Who Are the Workers Who Never Joined a Union? Empirical Evidence from Germany

  • Schnabel, Claus


    (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Wagner, Joachim


    (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

Using representative data from the German social survey ALLBUS 2002 and the European Social Survey 2002/03, this paper provides the first empirical analysis of trade union never-membership in Germany. We show that between 54 and 59 percent of all employees in Germany have never been members of a trade union. Individuals' probability of never-membership is significantly affected by their personal characteristics (in particular age, education and status at work), their political orientation and (to a lesser degree) their family background, and by broad location. In addition, occupational and workplace characteristics play a significant role. Most important in this regard is the presence of a union at the workplace.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1658.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industrielle Beziehungen, 2006, 13 (2), 118-131
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1658
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  1. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2004. "Norm-Based Trade Union Membership: Evidence for Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(4), pages 481-504, November.
  2. John H. Pencavel, 1971. "The demand for union services: An exercise," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 24(2), pages 180-190, January.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003. "Why Have Workers Stopped Joining Unions?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0589, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Naylor, Robin, 1990. "A social custom model of collective action," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 201-216, October.
  7. Schnabel, Claus, 2005. "Gewerkschaften und Arbeitgeberverbände: Organisationsgrade, Tarifbindung und Einflüsse auf Löhne und Beschäftigung," Discussion Papers 34, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional 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. Nicola-Maria Riley, 1997. "Determinants of Union Membership: A Review," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 11(2), pages 265-301, 06.
  10. Booth, Alison L, 1985. "The Free Rider Problem and a Social Custom Model of Trade Union Membership," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 253-61, February.
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