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Employment effects of introducing a minimum wage: The case of Germany

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  • Holtemöller, Oliver
  • Pohle, Felix

Abstract

This paper contributes to the empirical literature on the employment effects of minimum wages. We analysed the introduction of a statutory minimum wage in Germany in 2015 exploiting cross-sectional variation of the minimum wage affectedness. We construct two variables that measure the affectedness for approximately 300 state-industry combinations based on aggregate monthly income data. The estimation strategy consists of two steps. We test for (unidentified) structural breaks in a model with cross-section specific trends to control for state-industry specific developments prior to 2015. In a second step, we test whether the trend deviations are correlated with the minimum wage affectedness. To identify the minimum wage effect on employment, we assume that the minimum wage introduction is exogenous. Our results point towards a negative effect on marginal employment and a positive effect on socially insured employment. Furthermore, we analyse if the increase in socially insured employment is systematically related to the reduction of marginal employment but do not detect evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Holtemöller, Oliver & Pohle, Felix, 2017. "Employment effects of introducing a minimum wage: The case of Germany," IWH Discussion Papers 28/2017, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwhdps:282017
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    1. Garloff, Alfred, 2016. "Side effects of the new German minimum wage on (un-)employment : first evidence from regional data," IAB Discussion Paper 201631, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Antje Schubert & Johannes Steinbrecher & Marcel Thum & Michael Weber, 2016. "Auswirkungen des flächendeckenden Mindestlohns auf die gewerbliche Wirtschaft im Freistaat Sachsen," ifo Dresden Studien, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 77, October.
    5. Steffen Henzel & Kira Engelhardt, 2014. "Arbeitsmarkteffekte des flächendeckenden Mindestlohns in Deutschland – eine Sensitivitätsanalyse," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 67(10), pages 23-29, May.
    6. Yellen, Janet L, 1984. "Efficiency Wage Models of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 200-205, May.
    7. Projektgruppe Gemeinschaftsdiagnose, 2014. "Gemeinschaftsdiagnose Frühjahr 2014: Deutsche Konjunktur im Aufschwung – aber Gegenwind von der Wirtschaftspolitik," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 67(08), pages 03-64, April.
    8. Christopher J. Flinn, 2006. "Minimum Wage Effects on Labor Market Outcomes under Search, Matching, and Endogenous Contact Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 1013-1062, July.
    9. Projektgruppe Gemeinschaftsdiagnose, 2014. "Gemeinschaftsdiagnose Frühjahr 2014: Deutsche Konjunktur im Aufschwung – aber Gegenwind von der Wirtschaftspolitik (Kurzfassung)," Wirtschaft im Wandel, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), vol. 20(2), pages 24-25.
    10. 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.
    11. Perron, Pierre, 1989. "The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
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    13. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1992. "Employment Effects of Minimum and Subminimum Wages: Panel Data on State Minimum Wage Laws," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 55-81, October.
    14. Brautzsch, Hans-Ulrich & Schultz, Birgit, 2013. "Im Fokus: Mindestlohn von 8,50 Euro: Wie viele verdienen weniger, und in welchen Branchen arbeiten sie?," Wirtschaft im Wandel, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), vol. 19(3), pages 53-56.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:germec:v:20:y:2019:i:3:p:257-292 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Marco Caliendo & Carsten Schröder & Linda Wittbrodt, 2019. "The Causal Effects of the Minimum Wage Introduction in Germany – An Overview," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 20(3), pages 257-292, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    minimum wage; employment effects; minimum wage affectedness; structural break model;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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