Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #358

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

by Ronald Bachmann, Marion König and Sandra Schaffner

RWI, 07/2012, 31 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-412-9 DOI: 10.4419/86788412

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Abstract

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.

JEL-Classification: J23, J38, J42, J63

Keywords: Minimum wage; labour market flows; difference-in-differences; linked employer-employee

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