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Determinants of trade union membership

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  • Schnabel, Claus

Abstract

A large number of potential determinants of union membership, which often can be interpreted in terms of costs and benefits, have been incorporated into economists' traditional supply and demand framework or into new models of an individual's decision to unionise (such as social custom theory). A review of the international empirical evidence shows that business cycle factors and structural developments are important macro-determinants, whereas micro-determinants include personal, occupational and firm characteristics, earnings, attitudes and social variables. In addition, institutional determinants such as a union-affiliated unemployment insurance play a role. What is often missing, however, are attempts to integrate macro- and micro-level findings and cyclical, structural and institutional explanations of unionisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers 15, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:faulre:15
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alex Bryson, 2006. "Union Free-Riding in Britain and New Zealand," CEP Discussion Papers dp0713, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Oesch, Daniel, 2010. "Explaining union growth and decline with flows in and out of membership. An analysis of Swiss union locals," MPRA Paper 24358, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. 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.
    4. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2012. "Risk Aversion and Trade-Union Membership," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(2), pages 275-295, June.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Jörg Lingens & Klaus Wälde, 2009. "Pareto-Improving Unemployment Policies," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 65(2), pages 220-245, June.
    9. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2007. "Trade Union Membership and Works Councils in West Germany," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 14(2), pages 154-175.
    10. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2005. "Who Are the Workers Who Never Joined a Union? Empirical Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1658, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Blanchflower, David G., 2006. "A Cross-Country Study of Union Membership," IZA Discussion Papers 2016, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2011. "Trade union membership and dismissals," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 810-821.
    13. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2005. "Determinants of Union Membership in 18 EU Countries : Evidence from Micro Data, 2002/03," Discussion Papers 31, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    trade unions; union membership;

    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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