Minimum Wages as a Barrier to Entry: Evidence from Germany

TitleMinimum Wages as a Barrier to Entry: Evidence from Germany
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBachmann, R., Bauer, T. K., and Frings, H.
Pagination338 - 357
KeywordsGermany, minimum wage

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 show that high-productivity employers support minimum wages. We further find some evidence 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.