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Who are the workers who never joined a union? Empirical evidence from Germany

  • Claus Schnabel

    ()

    (Chair of Labour and Regional Economics, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Joachim Wagner

    ()

    (Institute of Economics, University of 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 University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 12.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:12
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  1. 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.
  2. Naylor, R., 1989. "A Social Custom Model Of Collective Action," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 327, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. Nicola-Maria Riley, 1997. "Determinants of Union Membership: A Review," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 11(2), pages 265-301, 06.
  4. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2003. "Norm-Based Trade Union Membership: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 962, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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.
  6. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003. "Why have workers stopped joining unions?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20022, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. 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.
  8. Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers 15, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  9. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "Trade Union Membership in Eastern and Western Germany: Convergence or Divergence?," IZA Discussion Papers 707, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. 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.
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