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Employment Effects of a Sectoral Minimum Wage in Germany: Semi-Parametric Estimations from Cross-Sectional Data

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  • Kai-Uwe Müller

Abstract

In this paper employment effects of a sectoral minimum wage in the German construction sector are estimated from a single cross-sectional wage distribution using parametric and semi-parametric models. Parametric functional form assumptions seem too restrictive and lead to implausible results. We suggest semi-parametric censored quantile regression models to relax these assumptions and find that employment levels would be 4-5% higher without the minimum wage in the East German construction sector. That the effect for the West is clearly smaller (only 1-2%) is theoretically plausible, since the level of the minimum wage in East Germany was set much higher in relation to the wage distribution. There is heterogeneity hidden in the mean effect: employment losses are mostly borne by young construction workers, employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements and individuals working in small establishments. Although the paper confirms previous findings of a negative employment effect for East Germany, its magnitude is substantially larger than previously estimated.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1061
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minimum wage; wage distribution; employment effects; labor demand;

    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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