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Holding the Shop TogetherGerman Industrial Relations in the Postwar Era$
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Stephen J. Silvia

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452215

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452215.001.0001

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A Quantitative Analysis of Membership Developments in the Postwar German Trade Union Movement

A Quantitative Analysis of Membership Developments in the Postwar German Trade Union Movement

Milieu Matters

Chapter:
(p.83) Chapter 3 A Quantitative Analysis of Membership Developments in the Postwar German Trade Union Movement
Source:
Holding the Shop Together
Author(s):

Stephen J. Silvia

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801452215.003.0004

This chapter examines the declining membership of Germany's trade unions and employers associations by conducting a quantitative analysis of unionization rate in the postwar period. Previous models of unionization in Germany focused exclusively on economic and demographic variables; this chapter includes two additional factors: “social custom” and trade. Based on the quantitative model, it considers the impact of social custom—that is, the social expectations and the milieu that influence an individual's decision to join a union—on unionization. It also discusses the correlation between trade as a percentage of the gross domestic product and the German unionization rate, as well as between German unification and unionization. It shows that the decline in German trade union density can be attributed to the deterioration of trade unionism as a social custom, rather than to a breakdown of labor law or state institutions.

Keywords:   membership, trade unions, employers associations, unionization rate, unionization, social custom, trade unionism, German unification, union density, labor law

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