Firms’ resistance to unionism and its determinants

Evidence from a field experiment

Patrick Nuess, Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK), Hans-Böckler-Foundation

Based on a correspondence experiment sending 2000 fictitious job applications to real vacancies (extended by 3000 applications in autumn 2018), the paper analyses firms resistance to unionism by revealing trade union membership in the hiring process. Due to the institutional structure of Germany as well as the available firm characteristics, the experiment furthermore tries to decompose firms potential resistance into different channels related to firm characteristics as the existence of a collective agreement and the contract type. Preliminary results suggest, resistance against trade union members in Germany exists for all tested occupations and regions with an average decline in callbacks by 30%. The analysis further indicates, that resistance against trade union members is lower in firms providing a temporary contract or with a collective agreement.