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The Impact of Minimum Wages on Well-Being: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in Germany

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  • Filiz Gülal
  • Adam Ayaita

Abstract

To analyze well-being effects of minimum wages, the introduction of a minimum wage in Germany in 2015 is used as a quasi-experiment. Based on the representative SOEP data, a difference-in-differences design compares the development of life, job, and pay satisfaction between those who are affected by the reform according to their pre-intervention wages and those who already have marginally higher wages so that they are not directly affected. The results show that the minimum wage has significantly positive effects on all considered dimensions of well-being, on average, with an increase in life satisfaction by 0.10 standard deviations (0.15 points on a ten-point Likert scale). Positive effects last at least until one year after the reform. Life satisfaction tends to increase particularly in the region that is overall economically less developed (East Germany). The results hold if those who are not employed anymore after the reform are included in the analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Filiz Gülal & Adam Ayaita, 2018. "The Impact of Minimum Wages on Well-Being: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 969, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp969
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    6. Bachmann, Ronald & Boockmann, Bernhard & Gonschor, Myrielle & Kalweit, René & Klauser, Roman & Laub, Natalie & Rulff, Christian & Vonnahme, Christina, 2022. "Auswirkungen des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns auf Löhne und Arbeitszeiten," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 264288, June.
    7. Hafner, Lucas, 2019. "Do minimum wages improve self-rated health? Evidence from a natural experiment," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 02/2019, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    8. Sergio Manuel Madero-Gómez & Yanira Lizeth Rubio Leal & Miguel Olivas-Luján & Mohd Yusoff Yusliza, 2023. "Companies Could Benefit When They Focus on Employee Wellbeing and the Environment: A Systematic Review of Sustainable Human Resource Management," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(6), pages 1-12, March.
    9. Arne Heise, 2022. "Mindestlöhne, Beschäftigung und die „Harmonie der Täuschungen“," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 48(1), pages 83-107.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minimum wage; natural experiments; well-being; satisfaction;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • 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
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General

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