Get access

The Duration of Union Membership in Italy: A Research Note


  • The author would like to thank Alfiero Boschiero and CGIL Veneto for the assistance in the data collection process; Natalia Magnani, two anonymous referees, and Daniel J. Mitchell for their comments. The usual disclaimer applies.


Thanks to direct access to union databases, this note can answer two new questions in industrial relations: how long union membership lasts and what are the determinants of its duration within an open-shop context. This also allows for conceptualizing union membership as a much more dynamic phenomenon than in previous studies, where it was considered a static condition whose causes or effects were to be investigated. Regression analysis applied to a sample of 29,035 Italian workers highlights that union membership duration is a positive but declining function of age. Furthermore, women, flexible workers, foreign ones, and those working in cities tend to show less attachment to union membership than the other workers.