Based on the seminal contribution of Bain and Elsheikh, this article explains the ebb and flow in trade union membership in Belgium from 1948 to 1995. With only four explanatory variables, the model clarifies more than 75 per cent of the fluctuations in Belgian trade union membership. The results show that rises in inflation, real wages and, due to the Ghent system, unemployment have a positive impact on unionization. Although there is an enforcement effect, a saturation effect takes over, indicating that further union growth is hampered by the union's own size. Mainly due to the 'Allgemeinkoalitionsfähighkeit' of the Belgian government system, the impact of leftist parties on unionization is not significant in a quantitative framework.
- Industrial relations; union membership; Belgium
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kurt_vandaele/1/