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Did the Minimum Wage Reduce the Gender Wage Gap in Germany?

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  • Caliendo, Marco

    (University of Potsdam)

  • Wittbrodt, Linda

    (University of Potsdam)

Abstract

In many countries, women are over-represented among low-wage employees, which is why a wage floor could benefit them particularly. Following this notion, we analyse the impact of the German minimum wage introduction in 2015 on the gender wage gap. Germany poses an interesting case study in this context, since it has a rather high gender wage gap and set the minimum wage at a relatively high level, affecting more than four million employees. Based on individual data from the Structure of Earnings Survey, containing information for over one million employees working in 60,000 firms, we use a difference-in-difference framework that exploits regional differences in the bite of the minimum wage. We find a significant negative effect of the minimum wage on the regional gender wage gap. Between 2014 and 2018, the gap at the 10th percentile of the wage distribution was reduced by 4.6 percentage points (or 32%) in regions that were strongly affected by the minimum wage compared to less affected regions. For the gap at the 25th percentile, the effect still amounted to -18%, while for the mean it was smaller (-11%) and not particularly robust. We thus find that the minimum wage can indeed reduce gender wage disparities. While the effect is highest for the low-paid, it also reaches up into higher parts of the wage distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Caliendo, Marco & Wittbrodt, Linda, 2021. "Did the Minimum Wage Reduce the Gender Wage Gap in Germany?," IZA Discussion Papers 14926, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14926
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    Cited by:

    1. Moritz Drechsel-Grau & Andreas Peichl & Johannes Friedrich Schmieder & Kai D. Schmid & Hannes Walz & Stefanie Wolter, 2022. "Inequality and Income Dynamics in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 9605, CESifo.
    2. Carlos Oliveira, 2022. "How is the Minimum Wage Shaping the Wage Disitribution: Bite, Spillovers, and Wage Inequality," GEE Papers 0160, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised May 2022.
    3. Jose Garcia-Louzao & Linas Tarasonis, 2022. "Wage and Employment Impact of Minimum Wage: Evidence from Lithuania," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 103, Bank of Lithuania.
    4. Biewen, Martin & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Rümmele, Marian, 2022. "Using Distribution Regression Difference-in-Differences to Evaluate the Effects of a Minimum Wage Introduction on the Distribution of Hourly Wages and Hours Worked," IZA Discussion Papers 15534, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Jose Garcia-Louzao & Linas Tarasonis, 2022. "Wage and Employment Impact of Minimum Wage: Evidence from Lithuania," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 103, Bank of Lithuania.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    regional bite; gender wage gap; minimum wage;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • 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
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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