Journal Article

Determinants of trade union membership in West Germany: evidence from micro data, 1980–2000*

Claus Schnabel and Joachim Wagner

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 3, issue 1, pages 1-24
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/SER/mwh011
Determinants of trade union membership in West Germany: evidence from micro data, 1980–2000*

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An empirical analysis of various waves of the ALLBUS social survey shows that union density fell substantially in West Germany from 1980 to 2000. Such a negative trend can be observed for men and women and for different groups of the workforce. Repeated cross-sectional analyses suggest that a number of personal, occupational and attitudinal variables such as sex, occupational status, firm size and political orientation play a role in the unionization process, although the influence of some variables is not robust over time. While the results are consistent with cost–benefit considerations on the sides of employees and unions, our estimations do not support individualization theory and they cast some doubt on a crucial prediction from social custom theory.

Keywords: union membership; union density; Germany; JEL classification: J51

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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