Full text: Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - 2016 Heft 4 (4)

42. Jahrgang (2016), Heft 4

Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft

We observe a strong decline in union density for all sector groups in Austria, France, Germany, the UK and the US, while the decline is more moderate, albeit still visible, in Italy, Denmark and Sweden. Union density stagnated or even increased in Spain between 1980 and 2010, however not
exceeding the comparatively low level of 20 percent.40 In most countries
union density began to decrease in the 1980s, with the exception of Austria, France and the US where it has been declining since the 1970s. Union
density is highest in manufacturing sectors and lowest in low skilled service sectors. However, the latter group is also characterised by the smallest reduction in union density. Comparing countries amongst each other
union density measured at the country level declined most strongly in Austria where we observe a reduction by 35 percentage-points between 1970
and 2011, followed by the UK and Germany where the reduction constitutes 24 and 18 percentage-points respectively.
Adjusted collective bargaining coverage also falls in most countries. The
most drastic reductions in bargaining coverage can be observed in the UK,
Germany and the US where it declined by 48, 27 and 18 percentage-points
between the 1970 and the 2010s.
We observe an increase in social government spending in our sample
period in most countries with the exception of Sweden and Denmark
where the measure stayed roughly constant. Interestingly, while social
government spending increased or stagnated, it’s financing is more relying
on workers income as can be observed by the increasing implicit tax rates
for labour and consumption for all our sample.41
Personal inequality measured by the Gini coefficient increased in most
countries with regard to its level in the 1980s, with France as the only outstanding exception. A similar pattern can be observed for the income
share of the top 1 percent, this time Denmark being the exception from the
rule of increasing top income shares.

4. Estimation Methodology
Our basic specification of the within sector wage share has the following
WSi,t = αi + αgGROWTHi,t + αkKnonICTi,t + αkictKICTi,t +
+ αbargBARGAININGi,t + αglobGLOBALi,t + αwelfareWELFAREt +
Equation (3)
+ αfinancialFINANCIALISATIONt + αineqINEQUALITYt + i,t
where i is the sector index, t is the time index, and WS is the wage share in
sector i. GROWTH is the first difference of value added of the sector in
order to control for the counter-cyclical dynamics of the wage share. KICT
and KnonICT are ICT (information and communication technology) and

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