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

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  • Schnabel, Claus

    () (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Wagner, Joachim

    () (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2005. "Who Are the Workers Who Never Joined a Union? Empirical Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1658, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1658
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alison L. Booth, 1985. "The Free Rider Problem and a Social Custom Model of Trade Union Membership," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(1), pages 253-261.
    2. Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers 15, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    3. 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, March.
    4. Naylor, Robin, 1990. "A social custom model of collective action," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 201-216, October.
    5. 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.
    6. Bryson, Alex & Gomez, Rafael, 2003. "Why have workers stopped joining unions?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20022, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. 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.
    8. Nicola-Maria Riley, 1997. "Determinants of Union Membership: A Review," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 11(2), pages 265-301, June.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. John T. Addison & Alex Bryson & Paulino Teixeira & André Pahnke, 2011. "Slip Sliding Away: Further Union Decline In Germany And Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 58(4), pages 490-518, September.
    2. Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2007. "The Persistent Decline in Unionization in Western and Eastern Germany, 1980-2004 - What Can We Learn from a Decomposition Analysis?," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 14(2), pages 118-132.
    3. Ingrid Ott & Susanne Soretz, 2006. "Governmental activity and private capital adjustment," Working Paper Series in Economics 26, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    4. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2007. "Trade Union Membership and Works Councils in West Germany," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 14(2), pages 154-175.
    5. Ingrid Ott & Susanne Soretz, 2006. "Nachhaltige Entwicklung durch endogeneUmweltwahrnehmung," Working Paper Series in Economics 24, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    union membership; never-membership; Germany;

    JEL classification:

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

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