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Minimum Wage Systems and Earnings Inequalities: Does Institutional Diversity Matter?

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  • Andrea Garnero
  • Stephan Kampelmann
  • François Rycx

Abstract

This paper explores how the diversity of minimum wage systems affects earnings inequalities within European countries. It relies on the combination of (a) harmonized micro-data from household surveys, (b) data on national statutory minimum wages and coverage rates, and (c) hand-collected information on minimum rates from more than 1,100 sectoral-level agreements across Europe. The analysis covers 18 countries over the period 2007-2009. Empirical results confirm the intuition of many practitioners that the combination of sectoral minimum rates and high coverage of collective bargaining can, at least for earnings inequalities, be regarded as a functional equivalent to a binding statutory minimum wage at the national level. Regression results suggest indeed that both a national statutory minimum wage and, in countries with sectoral-level minima, a higher collective bargaining coverage are significantly associated with lower levels of (overall and inter-industry) wage inequalities and a smaller fraction of workers paid below prevailing minima. Several robustness checks confirm these findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Garnero & Stephan Kampelmann & François Rycx, 2013. "Minimum Wage Systems and Earnings Inequalities: Does Institutional Diversity Matter?," Working Papers CEB 13-021, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/143827
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    Cited by:

    1. Marianna Belloc & Paolo Naticchioni & Claudia Vittori, 2018. "Urban Wage Premia, Cost of Living, and Collective Bargaining," CESifo Working Paper Series 7253, CESifo.
    2. Andrea Garnero & Stephan Kampelmann & François Rycx, 2013. "Minimum Wage Systems and Earnings Inequalities: Does Institutional Diversity Matter?," Working Papers CEB 13-021, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Aysit Tansel & Başak Dalgıç & Aytekin Güven, 2019. "Wage Inequality and Wage Mobility in Turkey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 107-129, February.
    4. Maitre, Bertrand & McGuinness, Seamus & Redmond, Paul, 2017. "A study of minimum wage employment in Ireland: The role of worker, household and job characteristics," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT332.
    5. Otto Lenhart, 2017. "The impact of minimum wages on population health: evidence from 24 OECD countries," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(8), pages 1031-1039, November.
    6. Pineda-Hernández, Kevin & Rycx, Francois & Volral, Mélanie, 2021. "How Collective Bargaining Shapes Poverty: New Evidence for Developed Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 14555, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Mr. Christian H Ebeke & La-Bhus Fah Jirasavetakul & Ms. Yu Shi & Florian Misch & Mr. Davide Malacrino & Koralai Kirabaeva & Hyun Woo Park & Ms. Enrica Detragiache, 2020. "A European Minimum Wage: Implications for Poverty and Macroeconomic Imbalances," IMF Working Papers 2020/059, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Eva Militaru & Madalina Ecaterina Popescu & Amalia Cristescu & Maria Denisa Vasilescu, 2019. "Assessing Minimum Wage Policy Implications upon Income Inequalities. The Case of Romania," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(9), pages 1-20, May.
    9. McGuinness, Seamus & Redmond, Paul, 2018. "Estimating the effect of an increase in the minimum wage on hours worked and employment in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT354.
    10. Paul Redmond & Karina Doorley & Seamus McGuinness, 2021. "The impact of a minimum wage change on the distribution of wages and household income," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 1034-1056.
    11. Salverda, Wiemer & Checchi, Daniele, 2014. "Labour-Market Institutions and the Dispersion of Wage Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 8220, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Peng, Fei & Anwar, Sajid & Kang, Lili, 2017. "New technology and old institutions: An empirical analysis of the skill-biased demand for older workers in Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-19.
    13. Dr. Nickolaos Giovanis, 2018. "Determining Factors of Minimum Wage in the Member States of the OECD," Sumerianz Journal of Business Management and Marketing, Sumerianz Publication, vol. 1(4), pages 93-101, 12-2018.
    14. Anghel Ionuţ-Marian, 2017. "Measuring income inequality: comparative datasets and methodological deficiencies. An overview of income inequality in Romania during postsocialism," Social Change Review, Sciendo, vol. 15(1-2), pages 55-82, December.
    15. Ive Marx & Gerlinde Verbist, 2018. "Belgium, a poster child for inclusive growth?," Working Papers 1810, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    16. Redmond, Paul & Doorley, Karina & McGuinness, Seamus, 2019. "The impact of a change in the National Minimum Wage on the distribution of hourly wages and household income in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS86.
    17. Dr. Nickolaos Giovanis, 2019. "“Determining Factors of Minimum Wage in the Member States of the OECDâ€," Sumerianz Journal of Business Management and Marketing, Sumerianz Publication, vol. 2(1), pages 6-14, 01-2019.
    18. Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus, 2017. "A study of sub-minimum wage rates for young people," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT327.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minimum wage systems; collective bargaining; wage inequality; Europe;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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