DP918 | Relative Wage Effects of German Unions


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In contrast to the United States or the United Kingdom where union status is generally tied to the job, the typical unionized worker in Germany is a member of an industry union and there is no direct institutional link between union membership and the worker's wage. Using micro data from the period 1978--88, this paper demonstrates the absence of relative union wage effects in the traditional sense. Union membership is an indicator for the labour force attachment of female workers, however. These results as well as other central aspects of the German wage structure are stable across samples, although the composition of German employment has changed dramatically during the last decade to include more women, more young and more educated workers.