Slip Sliding Away:Further Union Decline in Germany and Britain

Publication date: 20 Feb 2010 | Publication type: Journal article/book/chapter | Theme: Employment & Social policy | NIESR Author(s): Bryson, A | External Author(s): Addison, J. T., Teixeira, P. and Pahnke, A. | JEL Classification: J50; J51

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<br />

pronounced in Britain than in Germany, thus continuing a trend apparent since the 1980s.<br />

Although workplace characteristics differ markedly across the two countries, assuming counterfactual values of these characteristics makes little difference to unionization levels.<br />

Expressed differently, the German dummy looms large.

Keyword tags: 
unionization, worker representation, shift-share

Research programmes