Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Minimum Wages as a Barrier to Entry – Evidence from Germany

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Ronald Bachmann, RWI and IZA Bonn; Thomas K. Bauer, RWI, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum and IZA Bonn; Hanna Kroger, RWI discuss Minimum Wages as a Barrier to Entry – Evidence from Germany.

ABSTRACT: This study analyses employers‘ support for the introduction of industry-specific minimum wages as a cost-raising strategy in order to deter market entry. Using a unique data set consisting of 800 firms in the German service sector, we find some evidence that high-productivity employers support minimum wages. We further show that minimum wage support is higher in industries and regions with low barriers to entry. This is particularly the case in East Germany, where the perceived threat of low-wage competition from Central and Eastern European countries is relatively high. In addition, firms paying collectively agreed wages are more strongly in favour of minimum wages if union coverage is low and the mark-up of union wage rates is high.

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