IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rim/rimwps/15-08.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can German Unions Still Cut It?

Author

Listed:
  • John T. Addison

    () (University of South Carolina, Durham University, U.S.A.; IZA Bonn, Germany; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy)

  • Paulino Teixeira

    () (University of Coimbra and GEMF, Portugal; IZA Bonn, Germany)

  • Jens Stephani

    (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung der Bundesagentur für Arbeit, Germany)

  • Lutz Bellmann

    () (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung der Bundesagentur für Arbeit, IZA Bonn, Germany)

Abstract

That trade unionism is in decline is seems to be beyond dispute. More controversial is the implied change in union impact on worker wages. In using a linked employer-employee dataset over an interval of continuing decline in unionism, namely 2000-2010, this paper addresses this very issue. It is found that joining a sectoral agreement always produces higher wages, while exiting a sectoral agreement no longer produces wage losses if the transition is to a firm agreement. Leaving a firm agreement to non-coverage also leads to wage reductions, while joining one from non-coverage seems decreasingly favourable. At the end of the day, there is one constant: although small, the positive union wage gap persists.

Suggested Citation

  • John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Jens Stephani & Lutz Bellmann, 2015. "Can German Unions Still Cut It?," Working Paper series 15-08, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:15-08
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.rcea.org/RePEc/pdf/wp15-08.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten, 2006. "Gleicher Lohn für gleiche Arbeit? Zum Zusammenhang zwischen Gewerkschaftsmitgliedschaft und Lohnstruktur in Westdeutschland 1985?1997," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-006, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    2. Antonczyk, Dirk & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2010. "Rising wage inequality, the decline of collective bargaining, and the gender wage gap," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 835-847, October.
    3. Bernd Fitzenberger & Karsten Kohn & Alexander C. Lembcke, 2013. "Union Density and Varieties of Coverage: The Anatomy of Union Wage Effects in Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(1), pages 169-197, January.
    4. John T. Addison & Alex Bryson & Paulino Teixeira & André Pahnke & Lutz Bellmann, 2011. "The Demise of a Model? The State of Collective Bargaining and Worker Representation in Germany," GEMF Working Papers 2011-09, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    5. Gürtzgen, Nicole, 2011. "Behindern Flächentarifverträge eine betriebliche Differenzierung der Entlohnung? (Do industry-level contracts suppress firm wage differentials?)," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 44(1/2), pages 155-161.
    6. John Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Katalin Evers & Lutz Bellmann, 2012. "Is the Erosion Thesis Overblown? Evidence from the Orientation of Uncovered Employers," GEMF Working Papers 2012-07, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    7. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "The (Parlous) State of German Unions," Working Paper Series in Economics 23, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    8. Christian Dustmann & Johannes Ludsteck & Uta Schönberg, 2009. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 843-881.
    9. Gartner, Hermann, 2005. "The imputation of wages above the contribution limit with the German IAB employment sample," FDZ Methodenreport 200502_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    10. Hirsch, Boris & Schnabel, Claus, 2011. "Let's take bargaining models seriously: The decline in union power in Germany, 1992 - 2009," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 10/2011, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    11. Wolf Dieter Heinbach & Markus Spindler, 2007. "To Bind or Not to Bind Collectively? Decomposition of Bargained Wage Differences Using Counterfactual Distributions," IAW Discussion Papers 36, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    12. Sven Jung & Claus Schnabel, 2011. "Paying More than Necessary? The Wage Cushion in Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 25(2), pages 182-197, June.
    13. Haipeter, Thomas. & Lehndorff, Steffen., 2009. "Collective bargaining on employment," ILO Working Papers 994331283402676, International Labour Organization.
    14. Anke Hassel, 1999. "The Erosion of the German System of Industrial Relations," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 37(3), pages 483-505, September.
    15. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
    16. Wolf Heinbach, 2007. "Wages in wage-setting regimes with opening clauses," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer;Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft - German Statistical Society, vol. 1(3), pages 233-245, December.
    17. Gesine Stephan & Knut Gerlach, 2005. "Wage settlements and wage setting: results from a multi-level model," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(20), pages 2297-2306.
    18. repec:ilo:ilowps:433128 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Töpfer, Marina, 2018. "The age pay gap and labor market heterogeneity: A new empirical approach using data for Italy," Discussion Papers 105, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. John Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Katalin Evers & Lutz Bellmann, 2014. "Indicative and Updated Estimates of the Collective Bargaining Premium in Germany," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 125-156, January.
    2. Addison, John T. & Teixeira, Paulino & Stephani, Jens & Bellmann, Lutz, 2014. "Union Decline and the Coverage Wage Gap in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 8257, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Antonczyk, Dirk & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2010. "Rising wage inequality, the decline of collective bargaining, and the gender wage gap," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 835-847, October.
    4. Nicole Gürtzgen, 2016. "Estimating the Wage Premium of Collective Wage Contracts: Evidence from Longitudinal Linked Employer–Employee Data," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 294-322, April.
    5. Uwe Jirjahn, 2013. "Der Beitrag der Arbeitsmarktökonomik zur Erforschung von Gewerkschaften und Tarifvertragsbeziehungen in Deutschland," Research Papers in Economics 2013-03, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    6. Martin Biewen & Matthias Seckler, 2019. "Unions, Internationalization, Tasks, Firms, and Worker Characteristics: A Detailed Decomposition Analysis of Rising Wage Inequality in Germany," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(4), pages 461-498, December.
    7. Heinze, Anja, 2010. "Beyond the mean gender wage gap: Decomposition of differences in wage distributions using quantile regression," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-043, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    8. Uwe Jirjahn, 2015. "Research on Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining in Germany: The Contribution of Labor Economics," Research Papers in Economics 2015-10, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    9. John T. Addison & Alex Bryson & Paulino Teixeira & André Pahnke & Lutz Bellmann, 2013. "The Extent of Collective Bargaining and Workplace Representation: Transitions between States and their Determinants. A Comparative Analysis of Germany and Great Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(2), pages 182-209, May.
    10. Daniel Baumgarten & Gabriel Felbermayr & Sybille Lehwald, 2020. "Dissecting Between‐Plant and Within‐Plant Wage Dispersion: Evidence from Germany," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 85-122, January.
    11. Addison, John T. & Kölling, Arnd & Teixeira, Paulino, 2014. "Changes in Bargaining Status and Intra-Plant Wage Dispersion in Germany: A Case of (Almost) Plus Ça Change?," IZA Discussion Papers 8359, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Bernd Fitzenberger & Karsten Kohn & Alexander C. Lembcke, 2013. "Union Density and Varieties of Coverage: The Anatomy of Union Wage Effects in Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(1), pages 169-197, January.
    13. Biewen, Martin & Seckler, Matthias, 2017. "Changes in the German Wage Structure: Unions, Internationalization, Tasks, Firms, and Worker Characteristics," IZA Discussion Papers 10763, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Christian Dustmann & Bernd Fitzenberger & Uta Schönberg & Alexandra Spitz‑Oener, 2014. "Od chorego człowieka Europy do ekonomicznej megagwiazdy: odradzająca się gospodarka Niemiec," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 6, pages 149-172.
    15. Ekaterina Selezneva & Philippe Van Kerm, 2016. "A distribution-sensitive examination of the gender wage gap in Germany," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 14(1), pages 21-40, March.
    16. Andrew Snell & Heiko Stuber & Jonathan Thomas, 2018. "Downward Real Wage Rigidity and Equal Treatment Wage Contracts: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 30, pages 265-284, October.
    17. John T. Addison & Alex Bryson & Paulino Teixeira & André Pahnke & Lutz Bellmann, 2011. "The Demise of a Model? The State of Collective Bargaining and Worker Representation in Germany," GEMF Working Papers 2011-09, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    18. Hermann Gartner & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel, 2013. "Wage Cyclicality Under Different Regimes of Industrial Relations," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 516-540, April.
    19. Uwe Jirjahn & Kornelius Kraft, 2010. "Teamwork And Intra‐Firm Wage Dispersion Among Blue‐Collar Workers," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(4), pages 404-429, September.
    20. Aretz, Bodo, 2013. "Gender Differences in German Wage Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 7158, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:15-08. 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: (Marco Savioli). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/rcfeait.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.