The Erosion of Union Membership in Germany: Determinants, Densities, Decompositions

39 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2006

See all articles by Bernd Fitzenberger

Bernd Fitzenberger

Humboldt University of Berlin - School of Business and Economics

Karsten Kohn

Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), KfW Development Bank; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Qingwei Wang

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School; ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Date Written: July 2006

Abstract

Union density in Germany has declined remarkably during the last two decades. We estimate socio-economic and workplace-related determinants of union membership in East and West Germany using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel by means of Chamberlain-Mundlack correlated random effects probit models. Drawing on the estimates, we project net union densities (NUD) and analyze the differences between East and West Germany as well as the corresponding changes in NUD over time. Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions show that changes in the composition of the work force have only played a minor role for the deunionization trends in East and West Germany. In East-West comparison, differences in the characteristics of the work force reflect a lower quality of membership matches in East Germany right after German unification.

Keywords: union membership, union density, correlated random effects probit model

JEL Classification: J51

Suggested Citation

Fitzenberger, Bernd and Kohn, Karsten and Wang, Qingwei, The Erosion of Union Membership in Germany: Determinants, Densities, Decompositions (July 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2193, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 6-066, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=919981

Bernd Fitzenberger (Contact Author)

Humboldt University of Berlin - School of Business and Economics ( email )

Spandauer Str. 1
Berlin, D-10099
Germany

Karsten Kohn

Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), KfW Development Bank ( email )

Palmengartenstr. 5-9
Frankfurt, 60325
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Qingwei Wang

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, CF10 3EU
United Kingdom

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

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