March 2019

IZA Policy Paper No. 145: The German Statutory Minimum Wage and Its Effects on Regional Employment and Unemployment

forthcoming in: Journal of Economics and Statistics

This paper studies the effects of the introduction of Germany's statutory minimum wage in 2015 on employment and unemployment on the level of regional labor markets. Using variation in the regional exposure to the new wage floor, we employ a difference-in-differences approach that compares the evolution of employment and unemployment between regions with varying minimum wage bites. Overall, we find no statistically significant effect of the introduction of the German minimum wage on regular employment subject to social insurance, but a statistically significant negative effect on marginal employment. The reduction is not accompanied by a proportional increase in unemployment.