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Vortrag
Employment Effects of a Sectoral Minimum Wage: Semiparametric Estimations for Germany

Kai-Uwe Müller


Warsaw International Economic Meeting : WIEM
Warschau, Polen, 02.07.2010 - 04.07.2010


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Abstract:
In this paper employment effects of a sectoral minimum wage in the German construction sector are estimated from a single cross-sectional wage distribution using parametric and semi-parametric models. Parametric functional form assumptions seem too restrictive and lead to implausible results. We suggest semi-parametric censored quantile regression models to relax these assumptions and find that employment levels would be 4-5% higher without the minimum wage in the East German construction sector. That the effect for the West is clearly smaller (only 1-2%) is theoretically plausible, since the level of the minimum wage in East Germany was set much higher in relation to the wage distribution. There is heterogeneity hidden in the mean effect: employment losses are mostly borne by young construction workers, employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements and individuals working in small establishments. Although the paper confirms previous findings of a negative employment effect for East Germany, its magnitude is substantially larger than previously estimated.

Abstract

In this paper employment effects of a sectoral minimum wage in the German construction sector are estimated from a single cross-sectional wage distribution using parametric and semi-parametric models. Parametric functional form assumptions seem too restrictive and lead to implausible results. We suggest semi-parametric censored quantile regression models to relax these assumptions and find that employment levels would be 4-5% higher without the minimum wage in the East German construction sector. That the effect for the West is clearly smaller (only 1-2%) is theoretically plausible, since the level of the minimum wage in East Germany was set much higher in relation to the wage distribution. There is heterogeneity hidden in the mean effect: employment losses are mostly borne by young construction workers, employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements and individuals working in small establishments. Although the paper confirms previous findings of a negative employment effect for East Germany, its magnitude is substantially larger than previously estimated.

Kai-Uwe Müller

Leiter der FIS Nachwuchsgruppe Zeitpolitik in der Abteilung Staat



JEL-Classification: J23;J31;J38
Keywords: minimum wage, wage distribution, employment effects, labor demand
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