Norm-Based Trade Union Membership: Evidence for Germany

29 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2004

See all articles by Laszlo Goerke

Laszlo Goerke

University of Trier - Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Markus Pannenberg

University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld - Department of Business and Economics; DIW Berlin - GSOEP; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn

Date Written: December 2003

Abstract

In the absence of closed-shops and discriminatory wage policies, union membership can be explained by the existence of social norms. We describe a model, incorporating institutional features of the German labour market, which explicitly allows for social custom effects in the determination of union membership. Using panel data for Germany, we find evidence for according effects which restrict freeriding. The impact of social norms tends to increase with net union density. Hence, observed reductions in the demand for union membership can weaken the impact of a norm and accentuate the free-rider problem.

Keywords: Germany, norms, social custom, trade union membership

JEL Classification: D71, J51

Suggested Citation

Goerke, Laszlo and Pannenberg, Markus, Norm-Based Trade Union Membership: Evidence for Germany (December 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=487263

Laszlo Goerke (Contact Author)

University of Trier - Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union ( email )

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Markus Pannenberg

University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

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Bielefeld, D-33615
Germany
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