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The Price and Employment Response of Firms to the Introduction of Minimum Wages

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  • Sebastian Link

Abstract

This paper studies the price and employment response of firms to the introduction of a nation-wide minimum wage in Germany. In line with previous studies, the estimated employment effect is only modestly negative and statistically insignificant. In contrast, affected firms increased prices much more frequently. The price effect is prevalent across different sectors of the economy including manufacturing and is thus not limited to low wage industries. I document that speed and degree of price pass-through were high and firms rolled over the lion’s share of the costs generated by the minimum wage to their customers. Consistent with the role of price pass-through, I find considerable heterogeneity in firms’ responses to the minimum wage depending on their own business expectations, product market competition, and local labor market conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Link, 2019. "The Price and Employment Response of Firms to the Introduction of Minimum Wages," CESifo Working Paper Series 7575, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7575
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    Cited by:

    1. Friedrich Martin, 2020. "Using Occupations to Evaluate the Employment Effects of the German Minimum Wage," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 240(2-3), pages 269-294, April.
    2. Sebastian Link & Andreas Peichl & Christopher Roth & Johannes Wohlfart, 2021. "Information Frictions among Firms and Households," CEBI working paper series 21-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    3. Balleer, Almut & Link, Sebastian & Menkhoff, Manuel & Zorn, Peter, 2020. "Demand or Supply? Price Adjustment during the Covid-19 Pandemic," CEPR Discussion Papers 14907, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Fedorets, Alexandra & Shupe, Cortnie, 2021. "Great expectations: Reservation wages and minimum wage reform," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 397-419.
    5. Budrys, Žymantas & Porqueddu, Mario & Sokol, Andrej, 2022. "Striking a bargain: narrative identification of wage bargaining shocks," Research Bulletin, European Central Bank, vol. 98.
    6. Bonin, Holger & Pestel, Nico, 2020. "Der Mindestlohn birgt nach wie vor Beschäftigungsrisiken," IZA Standpunkte 98, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Sebastian Link, 2018. "Harmonization and Interpretation of the ifo Business Survey's Micro Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 7427, CESifo.
    8. Mario Bossler & Joachim Möller, 2019. "The Effects of the Compulsory Minimum Wage in Germany," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 16(04), pages 14-18, January.
    9. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Duncan Roth & Tobias Seidel, 2022. "Optimal minimum wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp1823, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. Bossler, Mario & Gürtzgen, Nicole & Lochner, Benjamin & Betzl, Ute & Feist, Lisa, 2018. "The German minimum wage: Effects on business expectations, profitability, and investments," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 13/2018, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    11. Caliendo Marco & Wittbrodt Linda & Schröder Carsten, 2019. "The Causal Effects of the Minimum Wage Introduction in Germany – An Overview," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 20(3), pages 257-292, August.
    12. Alexandra Fedorets, 2021. "12 Euro Mindestlohn: neue Erwartungen und alte Hürden," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 101(12), pages 929-932, December.
    13. Bossler Mario & Gürtzgen Nicole & Betzl Ute & Feist Lisa & Lochner Benjamin, 2020. "The German Minimum Wage: Effects on Productivity, Profitability, and Investments," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 240(2-3), pages 321-350, April.
    14. Link Sebastian, 2020. "Harmonization of the ifo Business Survey’s Micro Data," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 240(4), pages 543-555, August.
    15. Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb & Marcel Thum & Bruttel,Oliver & Benjamin Börschlein & Bossler Mario & Felix Pakleppa & Holger Bonin & Nico Pestel & Alexandra Fedorets & Marco Caliendo, 2020. "Bilanz nach fünf Jahren: Was hat der gesetzliche Mindestlohn gebracht?“," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 73(04), pages 03-28, April.
    16. Friedrich Martin, 2020. "Using Occupations to Evaluate the Employment Effects of the German Minimum Wage," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 240(2-3), pages 269-294, April.
    17. Pestel, Nico & Bonin, Holger & Isphording, Ingo E. & Gregory, Terry & Caliendo, Marco, 2020. "Auswirkungen des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns auf Beschäftigung und Arbeitslosigkeit," IZA Research Reports 95, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Koch, Andreas & Kirchmann, Andrea & Reiner, Marcel & Scheu, Tobias & Zühlke, Anne & Bonin, Holger, 2020. "Verhaltensmuster von Betrieben und Beschäftigten im Kontext des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns," IZA Research Reports 97, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    Keywords

    price pass-through; heterogeneity in minimum wage effects; firm data; Germany;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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