Determinants of Trade Union Membership in West Germany: Evidence from Micro Data, 1980-2000
Posted: 29 Feb 2008
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
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