The Aging of the Unions in West Germany, 1980-2006

24 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2008

See all articles by Claus Schnabel

Claus Schnabel

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Joachim Wagner

University of Lueneburg - Institute of Economics; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Using data from the social survey ALLBUS for West Germany in the period 1980 to 2006, this paper demonstrates that union members are on average older than non-unionized employees. The probability of being unionized shows the inverted U-shaped pattern in age conjectured by Blanchflower (BJIR 2007) only in very few years. It is demonstrated that both intra-cohort change and cohort replacement effects have played a roughly equal role in the substantial fall in union density since 1980. If older cohorts with high densities continue to be replaced by young cohorts with low densities, average union density will fall further.

Keywords: union membership, union density, cohort effects, West Germany

JEL Classification: J51

Suggested Citation

Schnabel, Claus and Wagner, Joachim, The Aging of the Unions in West Germany, 1980-2006. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3661, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1251029 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Claus Schnabel (Contact Author)

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg ( email )

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Joachim Wagner

University of Lueneburg - Institute of Economics ( email )

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