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Changes in Union Membership Over Time: A Panel Analysis for West Germany

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  • Fitzenberger, Bernd
  • Beck, Martin

Abstract

Despite the apparent stability of the wage bargaining institutions in West Germany, aggregate union membership has been declining dramatically since the early 90's. However, aggregate gross membership numbers do not distinguish by employment status and it is impossible to disaggregate these sufficiently. This paper uses four waves of the German Socioeconomic Panel in 1985, 1989, 1993, and 1998 to perform a panel analysis of net union membership among employees. We estimate a correlated random effects probit model suggested in Chamberlain (1984) to take proper account of individual specfic effects. Our results suggest that at the individual level the propensity to be a union member has not changed considerably over time. Thus, the aggregate decline in membership is due to composition effects. We also use the estimates to predict net union density at the industry level based on the IAB employment subsample for the time period 1985 to 1997.

Suggested Citation

  • Fitzenberger, Bernd & Beck, Martin, 2003. "Changes in Union Membership Over Time: A Panel Analysis for West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-42, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:1351
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2011. "Trade union membership and dismissals," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 810-821.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernd Fitzenberger & Karsten Kohn & Qingwei Wang, 2011. "The erosion of union membership in Germany: determinants, densities, decompositions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 141-165, January.
    2. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten, 2005. "Gleicher Lohn für gleiche Arbeit? : zum Zusammenhang zwischen Gewerkschaftsmitgliedschaft und Lohnstruktur in Westdeutschland 1985-1997 (Equal pay for equal work? * on the relationship between union m," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 38(2/3), pages 125-146.
    3. 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.
    4. Stijn Kelchtermans & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2011. "The great divide in scientific productivity: why the average scientist does not exist," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 295-336, February.
    5. 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.
    6. Fitzenberger Bernd & Sommerfeld Katrin, 2016. "A Sequential Decomposition of the Drop in Collective Bargaining Coverage," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 236(1), pages 37-69, February.
    7. 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.
    8. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2011. "Trade union membership and dismissals," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 810-821.
    9. 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.
    10. Schettkat, Ronald, 2003. "Koordination von Lohnverhandlungen (Coordination of wage bargaining)," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 36(4), pages 634-648.
    11. 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.
    12. Nicole Guertzgen, 2009. "Rent-sharing and Collective Bargaining Coverage: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(2), pages 323-349, June.
    13. 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.
    14. Lesch, Hagen, 2004. "Gewerkschaftlicher Organisationsgrad im internationalen Vergleich," IW-Trends – Vierteljahresschrift zur empirischen Wirtschaftsforschung, Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln (IW) / Cologne Institute for Economic Research, vol. 31(2), pages 5-15.
    15. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2004. "Norm-Based Trade Union Membership: Evidence for Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(4), pages 481-504, November.
    16. repec:ora:journl:v:1:y:2016:i:1:p:340-350 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Hagen Lesch, 2004. "Trade Union Density in International Comparison," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 5(4), pages 12-18, December.
    18. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:38:i:2/3:p:125-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:iab:iabmit:v:36:i:4:p:634-648 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    union membership; gross and net union density; correlated random effects probit model;

    JEL classification:

    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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