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The short-run employment effects of the German minimum wage reform

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  • Caliendo, Marco
  • Fedorets, Alexandra
  • Preuss, Malte
  • Schröder, Carsten
  • Wittbrodt, Linda

Abstract

We assess the short-term employment effects of the introduction of a national statutory minimum wage in Germany in 2015. For this purpose, we exploit variation in the regional treatment intensity, assuming that the stronger a minimum wage ‘bites’ into the regional wage distribution, the stronger the regional labour market will be affected. In contrast to previous studies, we construct two regional bite indicators based upon detailed individual wage data from the Structure of Earnings Survey (SES) 2014 and combine it with administrative information on regional employment. Moreover, using the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), we are able to affirm the absence of anticipation effects and verify the assumption of a common trend in wages before the reform. In sum, we find only moderate negative effects on overall employment of about 140,000 (0.4%) jobs, which are mainly driven by a sharp decline of marginal employment (‘mini-jobs’), while we do not find pronounced significant effects for regular employment in most specifications. Our results are robust to a variety of sensitivity tests.

Suggested Citation

  • Caliendo, Marco & Fedorets, Alexandra & Preuss, Malte & Schröder, Carsten & Wittbrodt, Linda, 2018. "The short-run employment effects of the German minimum wage reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 46-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:46-62
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2018.07.002
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minimum wage; Regional bite; Employment effects;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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