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Who Earns Minimum Wages in Europe? New Evidence Based on Household Surveys

  • François Rycx
  • Stephan Kampelmann

This paper aims to provide a comprehensive, evidence-based, and up-to-date assessment of minimum wages in a range of European countries. A first step towards a better understanding of where Europe stands today on this issue requires to grasp the diversity of European minimum wage systems, a key objective of the paper at hand. The second objective is to document international differences in the so-called "bite" of the minimum wage. This leads to questions such as "how do national minimum wages compare to the overall wage distribution?" and "how many people earn minimum wages in each country?" that are assessed for a set of nine countries from Western, Central and Eastern Europe: Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom. This sample was designed to include countries for which recent evidence has been missing prior to this paper. What is more, the study also overcomes the narrow focus of extant overviews that have typically focussed only on full-time employment. Crucially, the study improves on existing work by looking beyond aggregate numbers; it provides a detailed panorama of the population of minimum wage earners in each country under investigation, notably by describing their composition in terms of a range of socio-demographic characteristics.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/137078/1/1301KampelmannandRycxWhoearnsminimumwagesinEuropeWorkingPaper.pdf
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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series DULBEA Working Papers with number 13-01.

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Length: 60 p.
Date of creation: 10 Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:2013/137078
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://difusion.ulb.ac.be

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  1. Pierre Cahuc & Stéphane Carcillo & André Zylberberg, 2014. "Labor Economics," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01076752, HAL.
  2. Kennan, J., 1995. "The Elusive Effects of Minimum Wages," Working papers 9512, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Kampelmann, Stephan & Rycx, Francois, 2011. "Does Institutional Diversity Account for Pay Rules in Germany and Belgium?," IZA Discussion Papers 6010, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2004. "Minimum Wages, Labor Market Institutions, and Youth Employment: A Cross-National Analysis," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(2), pages 223-248, January.
  5. Magda, Iga & Rycx, Francois & Tojerow, Ilan & Valsamis, Daphné, 2008. "Wage Differentials across Sectors in Europe: An East-West Comparison," IZA Discussion Papers 3830, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
  7. Joachim Frick & Kristina Krell, 2011. "Einkommensmessungen in Haushaltspanelstudien für Deutschland: Ein Vergleich von EU-SILC und SOEP," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer;Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft - German Statistical Society, vol. 5(3), pages 221-248, December.
  8. Daniele Checchi & Claudio Lucifora, 2002. "Unions and labour market institutions in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 361-408, October.
  9. Charles Brown & Curtis Gilroy & Andrew Kohen, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 0846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Iga Magda & François Rycx & Ilan Tojerow & Daphné Valsamis, 2011. "Wage differentials across sectors in Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(4), pages 749-769, October.
  11. Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1997. "Minimum wages and economic outcomes in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 733-742, April.
  12. Lothar Funk & Hagen Lesch, 2006. "Minimum Wage Regulations in Selected European Countries," Intereconomics- Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 41(2), pages 78-92, March.
  13. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027.
  14. David Neumark & DMark Schweitzer & DaWilliam Wascher, 2004. "Minimum Wage Effects throughout the Wage Distribution," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
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