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GEMF

Grupo de Estudos Monetários e Financeiros

Estudos do GEMF, N.º 02 de 2010

   

Slip Sliding Away: Further Union Decline in Germany and Britain


John T. Addison
Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, Queen’s University School of Management, IZA, and GEMF

Alex Bryson
National Institute of Economic and Social Research and CEP

Paulino Teixeira

Faculdade de Economia/GEMF, University of Coimbra

André Pahnke
Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Bundesagentur für Arbeit

Abstract:
This paper presents the first comparative analysis of the decline in collective bargaining in two European countries where that decline has been most pronounced. Using workplace-level data and a common model, we present decompositions of changes in collective bargaining and worker representation in the private sector in Germany and Britain over the period 1998-2004. In both countries within-effects dominate compositional changes as the source of the recent decline in unionism. Overall, the decline in collective bargaining is more pronounced in Britain than in Germany, thus continuing a trend apparent since the 1980s. Although workplace characteristics differ markedly across the two countries, assuming counterfactual values of these characteristics makes little difference to unionization levels. Expressed differently, the German dummy looms large.

JEL Classification: J5.

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