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Minimum Wages as a Barrier to Entry: Evidence from Germany

  • Bachmann, Ronald



  • Bauer, Thomas K.



  • Kroeger, Hanna



This study analyses employers' support for the introduction of industry-specific minimum wages as a cost-raising strategy in order to deter market entry. Using a unique data set consisting of 800 firms in the German service sector, we find some evidence that high-productivity employers support minimum wages. We further show that minimum wage support is higher in industries and regions with low barriers to entry. This is particularly the case in East Germany, where the perceived threat of low-wage competition from Central and Eastern European Countries is relatively high. In addition, firms paying collectively agreed wages are more strongly in favour of minimum wages if union coverage is low and the mark-up of union wage rates is high.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6484.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour, 2014, 28 (3), 338-357
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6484
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  1. Justus Haucap & Uwe Pauly & Christian Wey, 2000. "Collective Wage Setting When Wages Are Generally Binding: An Antitrust Perspective," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-01, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  2. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2005. "Making Sense of Bolkestein-Bashing: Trade Liberalization under Segmented Labor Markets," IDEI Working Papers 353, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Thomas Kiessl & Carsten Pohl & Heinz Schmalholz, 2006. "Ostdeutsche Unternehmen betrachten EU-Dienstleistungsrichtlinie mit Skepsis," ifo Dresden berichtet, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 13(01), pages 15-26, 02.
  4. Shingo Ishiguro & Laixun Zhao, 2009. "Raising Wages To Deter Entry Into Unionized Markets," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 60(4), pages 435-445.
  5. Antonczyk, Dirk & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2010. "Rising wage inequality, the decline of collective bargaining, and the gender wage gap," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-014, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Garnsey, Elizabeth, 1998. "A Theory of the Early Growth of the Firm," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(3), pages 523-56, September.
  7. Sven Heitzler & Christian Wey, 2010. "Raising Rivals' Fixed (Labor) Costs: The Deutsche Post Case," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1008, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, June.
  9. Gernot Nerb, 2006. "Mögliche Auswirkungen der geplanten EU-Dienstleistungsrichtlinie auf die Wirtschaft Deutschlands," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 59(05), pages 19-24, 03.
  10. Braun, Sebastian, 2011. "Unionisation structures, productivity and firm performance: New insights from a heterogeneous firm model," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 120-129, January.
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