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Pattern persistence in european trade union density

  • Daniele Checchi

    ()

  • Jelle Visser

Using annual data on aggregate union membership and density in fourteen European countries, the authors examine the short-term and long-term determinants of the postwar pattern of union growth anddecline in Western Europe since 1950. In an attempt to explain the observed convergence in trends and persistence in cross-national differences, most research has applied either business cycle models, using longitudinal data, or concentrated on political, structural or institutional factors, using cross-sectoral samples. Using a pooled (timeseries - cross-section) regression, in error-corrected form, the authors build and test an explanatory model that incorporates structural,cyclical and institutional determinants of union decline, and allows a distinction between short-term and long-term effects. The results suggest that the convergent trend to union decline during the 1980s and 1990s is entirely endogenous to labor market changes, the impact of which is mediated by a specific and limited set of labor market institutions.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2002-01.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2002
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Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2002-01
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2003. "Training in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 933, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. David G. Blanchflower & Richard B. Freeman, 1990. "Going Different Ways: Unionism in the U.S. and Other Advanced O.E.C.D. Countries," NBER Working Papers 3342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Naylor, Robin, 1987. "Strikes, Free Riders and Social Customs," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 275, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  6. 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.).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Corneo, Giacomo, 1995. "Social custom, management opposition, and trade union membership," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 275-292, February.
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