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

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  • 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp708
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Vaona, Andrea, 2006. "The duration of union membership: An empirical study," Kiel Working Papers 1268, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Lesch, Hagen, 2004. "Gewerkschaftlicher Organisationsgrad im internationalen Vergleich," IW-Trends – Vierteljahresschrift zur empirischen Wirtschaftsforschung, Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW) / German Economic Institute, vol. 31(2), pages 5-15.
    4. Jörg Lingens & Klaus Wälde, 2006. "Pareto-Improving Unemployment Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 1807, CESifo.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    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. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Germany; micro data; trade union membership;
    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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