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Lost in Transition? – Minimum Wage Effects on German Construction Workers

  • Ronald Bachmann
  • Marion König
  • Sandra Schaffner

    ()

Using a linked employer-employee data set on the German construction industry, we analyse the effects of the introduction of minimum wages in this sector on labour market dynamics. In doing so, we focus on accessions and separations, as well as the underlying labour market flows, at the establishment level. The fact that minimum wages in Germany are sector-specific enables us to use other industries as control groups within a difference-in-differences framework. We find that both accessions and separations rise in East Germany as a result of the minimum wage introduction. The evidence on detailed worker flows suggests that this is mainly due to increased recalls. Furthermore, the minimum wage introduction lowered job-to-job transitions in East Germany, which can be explained by a more compressed wage distribution making on-the-job search less worthwhile. No clear effects on labour market dynamics in West Germany arise.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0358.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0358
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  1. Hanna Frings, 2012. "The Employment Effect of Industry-Specific, Collectively-Bargained Minimum Wages," Ruhr Economic Papers 0348, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2011. "Do Frictions Matter in the Labor Market? Accessions, Separations and Minimum Wage Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 5811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Marion König & Joachim Möller, 2009. "Impacts of minimum wages: a microdata analysis for the German construction sector," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(7), pages 716-741, November.
  4. Pierre Brochu & David A. Green, 2013. "The Impact of Minimum Wages on Labour Market Transitions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1203-1235, December.
  5. Portugal, Pedro & Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2002. "Disentangling the Minimum Wage Puzzle: An Analysis of Worker Accessions and Separations," IZA Discussion Papers 544, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Bachmann, Ronald & Bauer, Thomas K. & Kroeger, Hanna, 2012. "Minimum Wages as a Barrier to Entry: Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 6484, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, June.
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