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Declining Unions and the Coverage Wage Gap: Can German Unions Still Cut It?

Addison, J.; Teixeira, P.; Stephani, J.; Bellmann, L.

Declining Unions and the Coverage Wage Gap: Can German Unions Still Cut It? Thumbnail


P. Teixeira

J. Stephani

L. Bellmann


That German trade unionism is in profound decline seems to be beyond dispute. More controversial is the implied change in union impact on worker wages. A linked employer-employee dataset is deployed over an interval of continuing decline in unionism to address this issue. Over the sample period 2000–2010 it is found that joining a sectoral agreement always produces higher wages, while exiting one no longer leads to wage losses if the transition is to a firm agreement. Leaving a firm agreement to non-coverage also leads to wage reductions, while joining one from non-coverage appears decreasingly favorable. The one constant is the persistence of a small positive union wage gap.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 11, 2015
Online Publication Date Apr 12, 2015
Publication Date Sep 1, 2015
Deposit Date Apr 22, 2015
Publicly Available Date Apr 12, 2016
Journal Journal of Labor Research
Print ISSN 0195-3613
Electronic ISSN 1936-4768
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 3
Pages 301-317
Keywords Firm-level agreements, Sectoral collective bargaining, Bargaining transitions, Wages, Germany, J31, J51, J53.
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