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Minimum Wage Incidence: The Case for Germany

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  • Andreas Knabe
  • Ronnie Schöb

Abstract

Using data from the 2006 wave of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), this paper analyzes how a minimum wage affects employment, wage inequality, public expenditures, and aggregate income in the low-wage sector. It is shown that a statutory minimum wage of EUR 7.50 per hour would cost 840,000 low-paid jobs and increases the fiscal burden by about EUR 4 billion per year, while household income rises only by EUR 1.1 billion per year. Poor households, i.e. those eligible for Unemployment Benefits II, do not benefit from a minimum wage at all. Comparing the effects of a minimum wage with different types of wage subsidies that require the same additional public expenditures, the government can ensure more favorable employment – depending on the subsidies’ incidence – and income effects. Wage subsidies also allow a more equal income distribution than statutory minimum wages. Combining a minimum wage with a wage subsidy, similar to the French minimum wage system, is extremely costly while such a policy is inferior to wage subsidies in all respects.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb, 2008. "Minimum Wage Incidence: The Case for Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 2432, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2432
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    Cited by:

    1. Hanna Frings, 2013. "The Employment Effect of Industry-Specific, Collectively Bargained Minimum Wages," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 14(3), pages 258-281, August.
    2. Koch, Andreas & Kirchmann, Andrea & Reiner, Marcel & Scheu, Tobias & Boockmann, Bernhard & Bonin, Holger, 2018. "Verhaltensmuster von Betrieben und Beschäftigten im Zuge der Einführung des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns," IZA Research Reports 84, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Müller, Kai-Uwe & Steiner, Viktor, 2010. "Labor Market and Income Effects of a Legal Minimum Wage in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4929, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Andreas Knabe & Christine Lücke & Ronnie Schöb & Marcel Thum & Lars Vandrei & Michael Weber, 2014. "Regionale Beschäftigungseffekte des Mindestlohns im Freistaat Sachsen," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 21(05), pages 03-12, October.
    5. Adolf STROOMBERGEN & Peter HALL, 2010. "General Equilibrium Analysis of Bio-Energy Options," EcoMod2010 259600160, EcoMod.
    6. Knabe Andreas & Schöb Ronnie & Thum Marcel, 2014. "Der flächendeckende Mindestlohn," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 133-157, June.
    7. Michele Battisti & Gabriel Felbermayr, 2015. "Migranten im deutschen Arbeitsmarkt: Löhne, Arbeitslosigkeit, Erwerbsquoten," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68(20), pages 39-47, October.
    8. Paulina Broniatowska & Aleksandra Majchrowska & Zbigniew ¯ó³kiewski, 2015. "Does minimum wage reduce youth employment on regional labour markets in Poland?," Lodz Economics Working Papers 1/2015, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology.
    9. Kai-Uwe Müller, 2010. "Employment Effects of a Sectoral Minimum Wage in Germany: Semi-Parametric Estimations from Cross-Sectional Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1061, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Bredemeier, Christian & Juessen, Falko, 2012. "Minimum Wages and Female Labor Supply in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 6892, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Müller, Kai-Uwe & Steiner, Viktor, 2011. "Beschäftigungswirkungen von Lohnsubventionen und Mindestlöhnen - Zur Reform des Niedriglohnsektors in Deutschland," Discussion Papers 2011/4, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    12. Gürtzgen, Nicole & Blömer, Maximilian & Pohlan, Laura & Stichnoth, Holger & van den Berg, Gerard, 2016. "Estimating an Equilibrium Job Search Model for the German Labour Market," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145950, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. George Economides & Thomas Moutos, 2014. "Minimum Wages as a Redistributive Device in the Long Run," CESifo Working Paper Series 5052, CESifo.
    14. Frings Hanna, 2013. "The Employment Effect of Industry- Specific, Collectively Bargained Minimum Wages," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 258-281, August.
    15. Müller, Kai-Uwe, 2012. "Estimating the employment effects of a minimum wage from a cross-sectional wage distribution. A semi-parametric approach," VfS Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62019, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Kuddo, Arvo, 2009. "Labor laws in Eastern European and Central Asian countries : minimum norms and practices," Social Protection Discussion Papers and Notes 51698, The World Bank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    minimum wage incidence; statutory minimum wage; welfare system; wage; subsidies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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