Employment Effects of Introducing a Minimum Wage: The Case of Germany
Income inequality has been a major concern of economic policy makers for several years. Can minimum wages help to mitigate inequality? In 2015, the German government introduced a nationwide statutory minimum wage to reduce income inequality by improving the labour income of low-wage employees. However, the employment effects of wage increases depend on time and region specific conditions and, hence, they cannot be known in advance. Because negative employment effects may offset the income gains for low-wage employees, it is important to evaluate minimum-wage policies empirically. We estimate the employment effects of the German minimum-wage introduction using panel regressions on the state-industry-level. We find a robust negative effect of the minimum wage on marginal and a robust positive effect on regular employment. In terms of the number of jobs, our results imply a negative overall effect. Hence, low-wage employees who are still employed are better off at the expense of those who have lost their jobs due to the minimum wage.
Wage Delegation in the Field
Journal of Economics & Management Strategy,
By conducting a natural field experiment, we analyze the managerial policy of delegating the wage choice to employees. We find that this policy enhances performance significantly, which is remarkable since allocated wage premiums of the same size have no effect at all. Observed self‐imposed wage restraints and absence of negative peer effects speak in favor of wage delegation, although the chosen wage premium levels severely dampen its net value. Additional experimental and survey data provide important insights into employees' underlying motivations.
12.02.2020 • 2/2020
Causes of populism: IWH begins international research project
Is the increasing strength of populist parties due to economic causes? The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) is set to play a leading role in scrutinising this controversial question with immediate effect, together with researchers from England, Scotland and the Czech Republic. The Volkswagen Foundation is funding this interdisciplinary project to the tune of almost one million euro for four years.
Read press release
IWH-Tarif-Check: Kräftige Reale Netto-Tariflohnzuwächse für Beschäftigte in der Chemischen Industrie: Neue Gehaltsbestandteile in der Chemischen Industrie erhöhen reale Netto-Tariflohnzuwächse deutlich
Ende November 2019 wurde ein neuer Tarifvertrag für die Chemische Industrie abgeschlossen. Dementsprechend steigen die tabellenwirksamen Tariflöhne zum Juli 2020 um 1,5% und ein Jahr später nochmals um 1,3%. Hinzu kommen Einmalzahlungen in Höhe von 4,0% – 6,0% eines Monatsentgelts für die Zeit bis zur ersten Tariferhöhung im Juli 2020. Zusätzlich wurde erstmalig ein tarifliches Zukunftskonto im Gegenwert von zwei Tagen im Jahr 2020, drei Tagen im Jahr 2021 und danach jeweils fünf Tagen je Jahr vereinbart, die als Freizeit genommen, angespart oder ausgezahlt werden können. Dies entspricht einem Plus von 1,8 %. Hinzu kommt eine tarifliche Pflegezusatzversicherung und die Anhebung des Weihnachtsgeldes. Durch diese Zusatzvereinbarungen werden die eher niedrigen tabellenwirksamen Tariflohnsteigerungen erheblich aufgewertet. Insgesamt umfasst der Tariflohnabschluss ein Plus von mehr als 6% für eine Laufzeit von bis zu 29 Monaten.
12.12.2019 • 24/2019
Global economy slowly gains momentum – but Germany still stuck in a downturn
In 2020, the global economy is likely to benefit from the recent thaw in trade disputes. Germany’s manufacturing sector, however, will recover only slowly. “In 2020, the German economy will probably grow at a rate of 1.1%, and adjusted for the unusually high number of working days the growth rate will only be 0.7%”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and vice president at Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). With an estimated growth rate of 1.3%, production in East Germany will outpace total German production growth.
Read press release
Resolving the Missing Deflation and Inflation Puzzles
VOX, CEPR Policy Portal,
The alleged breakdown of the Phillips curve has left monetary policy researchers and central bankers wondering if we need to develop completely new models for price and wage determination. This column argues that a relatively small alteration of the standard New Keynesian model, combined with using the nonlinear instead of the linearised solution, is sufficient to resolve the two puzzles – the ‘missing deflation’ during the recession and the ‘missing inflation’ during the recovery – underlying the supposed breakdown.
The Regional Effects of a Place-based Policy – Causal Evidence from Germany
Regional Science and Urban Economics,
The German government provides discretionary investment grants to structurally weak regions in order to reduce regional inequality. We use a regression discontinuity design that exploits an exogenous discrete jump in the probability of regional actors to receive investment grants to identify the causal effects of the policy. We find positive effects of the programme on district-level gross value-added and productivity growth, but no effects on employment and gross wage growth.
02.10.2019 • 20/2019
Joint Economic Forecast Autumn 2019: Economy Cools Further – Industry in Recession
Berlin, October 2, 2019 – Germany’s leading economics research institutes have revised their economic forecast for Germany significantly downward. Whereas in the spring they still expected gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 0.8% in 2019, they now expect GDP growth to be only 0.5%. Reasons for the poor performance are the falling worldwide demand for capital goods – in the exporting of which the Germany economy is specialised – as well as political uncertainty and structural changes in the automotive industry. By contrast, monetary policy is shoring up macroeconomic expansion. For the coming year, the economic researchers have also reduced their forecast of GDP growth to 1.1%, having predicted 1.8% in the spring.
Read press release
13.06.2019 • 12/2019
Weak foreign demand – economic downturn in Germany
In the summer of 2019, uncertainty due to ongoing trade disputes weighs on the global economy. The export-oriented German economy is particularly affected. According to IWH summer economic forecast, gross domestic product is expected to increase by only 0.5% in 2019; the forecast for East Germany is 0.8%. The German labour market remains largely robust despite the economic downturn.
Read press release
Economy Under the Spell of the Coronavirus Epidemic The epidemic is obstructing the economic recovery in Germany. If the...