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Determinants of Trade Union Membership in Western Germany: Evidence from Micro Data, 1980-2000

Author

Listed:
  • Schnabel, Claus

    () (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Wagner, Joachim

    () (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

Abstract

An empirical analysis of various waves of the ALLBUS social survey shows that union density fell substantially in West Germany from 1980 to 2000. Such a negative trend can be observed for men and women and for different groups of the workforce. Repeated crosssectional analyses suggest that a number of personal, occupational and attitudinal variables such as sex, occupational status, firm size and political orientation play a role in the unionization process, although the influence of many variables is not robust over time. While the results are consistent with cost-benefit considerations on the sides of employees and unions, individualization theory and social custom theory is not consistently supported by our estimations.

Suggested Citation

  • Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "Determinants of Trade Union Membership in Western Germany: Evidence from Micro Data, 1980-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 708, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp708
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bulkley, George & Myles, Gareth D., 2001. "Individually rational union membership," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 117-137, March.
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    12. Jeremy Waddington & Colin Whitston, 1997. "Why Do People Join Unions in a Period of Membership Decline?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 35(4), pages 515-546, December.
    13. Naylor, Robin & Cripps, Martin, 1993. "An economic theory of the open shop trade union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1599-1620, December.
    14. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "German Works Councils Old and New: Incidence, Coverage and Determinants," IZA Discussion Papers 495, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. 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.
    16. Moreton, David R., 1998. "An open shop trade union model of wages, effort and membership," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 511-527, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bernd Fitzenberger & Karsten Kohn & Qingwei Wang, 2011. "The erosion of union membership in Germany: determinants, densities, decompositions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 141-165, January.
    2. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten, 2005. "Gleicher Lohn für gleiche Arbeit? : zum Zusammenhang zwischen Gewerkschaftsmitgliedschaft und Lohnstruktur in Westdeutschland 1985-1997 (Equal pay for equal work? * on the relationship between union m," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 38(2/3), pages 125-146.
    3. Bryson, Alex & Dale-Olsen, Harald, 2008. "A tale of two countries: unions, closures and growth in Britain and Norway," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19589, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Schnabel Claus & Wagner Joachim, 2008. "The Aging of the Unions in West Germany, 1980–2006," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(5-6), pages 497-511, October.
    5. Bernd Brandl, 2009. "Bayesian model averaging and model selection: two sides of the same coin when identifying the determinants of trade union density?," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 17(1), pages 13-29, March.
    6. Jörg Lingens & Klaus Wälde, 2009. "Pareto-Improving Unemployment Policies," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 65(2), pages 220-245, June.
    7. Vaona, Andrea, 2006. "The duration of union membership: An empirical study," Kiel Working Papers 1268, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Ruiz-Verdu, Pablo, 2007. "The economics of union organization: Efficiency, information and profitability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 848-868, October.
    11. Hagen Lesch, 2004. "Trade Union Density in International Comparison," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 5(4), pages 12-18, December.
    12. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:38:i:2/3:p:125-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Germany; micro data; trade union membership;

    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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