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Let's take bargaining models seriously: The decline in union power in Germany, 1992 - 2009

  • Hirsch, Boris
  • Schnabel, Claus

Building on the right-to-manage model of collective bargaining, this paper tries to infer union power from the observed results in wage setting. It derives a time-varying indicator of union strength and confronts it with annual data for Germany. The results show that union power was relatively stable in the 1990s but fell substantially (by almost one-third) from 1999 to 2007. Two-thirds of this fall in union power follow from the reduction in the labour share relative to the capital share whereas changes in the gap between the net wage and the income when unemployed account for the remaining third.

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Paper provided by Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik und Quantitative Wirtschaftsforschung (IWQW) in its series IWQW Discussion Paper Series with number 10/2011.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwqwdp:102011
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.iwqw.rw.uni-erlangen.de/
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  1. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1995. "Union Membership and Wage Bargaining When Membership is Not Compulsory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 345-60, March.
  2. Mosthaf, Alexander & Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus, 2009. "Low-Wage Employment versus Unemployment: Which One Provides Better Prospects for Women?," IZA Discussion Papers 4611, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Jung, Sven & Schnabel, Claus, 2009. "Paying more than necessary? The wage cushion in Germany," Discussion Papers 63, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. René Fahr & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed-Up the Matching Process? A Macro-Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 284-316, 08.
  6. Arpaia, Alfonso & Pérez, Esther & Pichelmann, Karl, 2009. "Understanding labour income share dynamics in Europe," MPRA Paper 15649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Hirsch, Boris & Schnabel, Claus, 2011. "Let's Take Bargaining Models Seriously: The Decline in Union Power in Germany, 1992-2009," IZA Discussion Papers 5875, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. John Pencavel, 2008. "How Successful Have Trade Unions Been?: A Utility-Based Indicator of Union Well-Being," Discussion Papers 08-002, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  9. Doiron, Denise J, 1992. "Bargaining Power and Wage-Employment Contracts in a Unionized Industry," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 583-606, August.
  10. Hirsch, Boris & Schnabel, Claus, 2010. "Women move differently: Job separations and gender," Discussion Papers 69, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521464673 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Francesca D'Auria & Cécile Denis & Karel Havik & Kieran Mc Morrow & Christophe Planas & Rafal Raciborski & Werner Roger & Alessandro Rossi, 2010. "The production function methodology for calculating potential growth rates and output gaps," European Economy - Economic Papers 420, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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