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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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1658
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Naylor, Robin, 1990. "A social custom model of collective action," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 201-216, October.
    3. Goerke Laszlo & Pannenberg Markus, 2004. "Norm-Based Trade Union Membership: Evidence for Germany," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 5(4), pages 481-504, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Anke Hassel, 1999. "The Erosion of the German System of Industrial Relations," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 37(3), pages 483-505, September.
    6. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003. "Why Have Workers Stopped Joining Unions?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0589, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Nicola‐Maria Riley, 1997. "Determinants of Union Membership: A Review," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 11(2), pages 265-301, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers 15, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    10. 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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ingrid Ott & Susanne Soretz, 2006. "Governmental activity and private capital adjustment," Working Paper Series in Economics 26, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    union membership; never-membership; Germany;
    All these keywords.

    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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