With or Without U? Testing the Hypothesis of an Inverted U-Shaped Union Membership-Age Relationship

Contemporary Economics, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 28-34, 2012

8 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2013

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

Date Written: December 7, 2012

Abstract

In this note, we apply a new test by Lind and Mehlum (2010), casting doubt on the claim proposed by Blanchflower (2007) that the probability of unionization follows an inverted U-shaped pattern in age with a maximum in the mid- to late 40s. With this new test for an inverted U-shaped pattern, which 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 with respect to 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, With or Without U? Testing the Hypothesis of an Inverted U-Shaped Union Membership-Age Relationship (December 7, 2012). Contemporary Economics, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 28-34, 2012 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2198319

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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