Time series evidence on union densities in European countries
We follow a business cycle approach to study the determinants of union density, finding evidence ofnegative effects of labour market slack (proxied by unemployment) and some impact of compositionaleffects (negative impact of increased labour market participation, as measured by the employment rates, and positive effect of educational attainment in the population, as measured by the population with secondary degrees or more). For a subset of countries we also show that the sectoral changing composition (decline of industry and increase in private services) and increased flexibility in the labour market (as measured by temporary workers) have an adverse effect on density. This pattern is common to all 14 European countries under analysis, with national variations due to inflation rates, wage shares on value added, unemployment subsidies and government political orientation. However Nordic countries distinguish themselves from the common pattern in that they exhibit a positive long-term relationship between union density and unemployment. This may possibly be explained by the fact that Nordic unions provide services to unemployed workers (the so-called Ghent system: mainly administration of unemployment benefits, but also job counselling and general training). The general model is robust enough to appear even when we consider Europe as a single labour market and aggregate national membership as if it were a single union.
|Date of creation:||01 Jan 2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +39 02 50321522
Fax: +39 02 50321505
Web page: http://www.demm.unimi.it
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Naylor, Robin & Raaum, Oddbjorn, 1993. "The Open Shop Union, Wages, and Management Opposition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(4), pages 589-604, October.
- Holmlund, Bertil & Lundborg, Per, 1996.
"Wage Bargaining, Union Membership, and the Organization of Unemployment Insurance,"
Working Paper Series
1996:17, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
- Holmlund, Bertil & Lundborg, Per, 1999. "Wage bargaining, union membership, and the organization of unemployment insurance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 397-415, September.
- Corneo Giacomo & Lucifora Claudio, 1993.
"Wage formation under union threat effects : theory and empirical evidence,"
CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange)
- Corneo, Giacomo & Lucifora, Claudio, 1997. "Wage formation under union threat effects: Theory and empirical evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 265-292, September.
- Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
- Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
- Corneo, Giacomo G., 1997. "The theory of the open shop trade union reconsidered," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 71-84, March.
- George A. Akerlof, 1978.
"A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence,"
Special Studies Papers
118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Akerlof, George A, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-75, June.
- David G. Blanchflower & Robert Crouchley & Saul Estrin & Andrew Oswald, 1990.
"Unemployment and the Demand for Unions,"
NBER Working Papers
3251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999.
"The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence,"
NBER Working Papers
7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
- Jones, Stephen R G & McKenna, C J, 1994. "A Dynamic Model of Union Membership and Employment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(242), pages 179-89, May.
- McDonald, Ian M & Suen, Anthony, 1992. "On the Measurement and Determination of Trade Union Power," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(2), pages 209-24, May.
- Richard Freeman & Jeffrey Pelletier, 1989. "The Impact of Industrial Relations Legislation on British Union Density," NBER Working Papers 3167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Blanchflower, 1996. "The Role and Influence of Trade Unions in the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0310, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Grossman, Gene M, 1983. "Union Wages, Temporary Layoffs, and Seniority," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 277-90, June.
- Nicola-Maria Riley, 1997. "Determinants of Union Membership: A Review," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 11(2), pages 265-301, 06.
- Burda, Michael C, 1990. "Membership, Seniority and Wage-Setting in Democratic Labour Unions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 57(228), pages 455-66, November.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Violante, Giovanni L., 2001.
"Deunionization, technical change and inequality,"
Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy,
Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 229-264, December.
- Naylor, R. & Cripps, M., 1991.
"An Economic Theory of the Open Shop Trade Union,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
372, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
- 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.
- Carruth, Alan A & Disney, Richard F, 1988. "Where Have Two Million Trade Union Members Gone?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 55(217), pages 1-19, February.
- Booth, Alison L, 1984. "A Public Choice Model of Trade Union Behaviour and Membership," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 883-98, December.
- Burda, Michael C, 1990. "Some Evidence on the Membership Hysteresis Hypothesis in Europe," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 143-61.
- Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2000-10. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (DEMM Working Papers)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.