Union Membership and Age: The Inverted U-Shape Hypothesis Under Test

18 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 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

In this note we cast some doubt on the claim put forward by David Blanchflower (2007) that the probability of being unionized follows an inverted U-shaped pattern in age with a maximum in the mid- to late 40s. By using a special test for an inverted U-shaped pattern that has not been applied to the age-membership nexus before, and by constructing exact confidence intervals for the maximum value, we demonstrate that at least for West Germany Blanchflower's hypothesis does not hold. Our findings suggest that more definitive evidence is needed before the existence of international unionization-age patterns can be taken for granted.

Keywords: unionization, age, inverted U-shape, Germany

JEL Classification: J51

Suggested Citation

Schnabel, Claus and Wagner, Joachim, Union Membership and Age: The Inverted U-Shape Hypothesis Under Test. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3842, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1309084 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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