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Out now: Was halten Geringverdienende vom Mindestlohn?

Von der Heiden, Marleen; Himmelreicher, Ralf (2022)

News from Jan 27, 2022

"Was halten Gerinverdienende vom Mindestlohn?" was published as a SOEP paper No. 1158 on the DIW and can be acessed as a pdf here.


The central question of this essay is how low wage earners perceive the minimum wage. The basis is a qualitative study of 31 focus group participants conducted in the summer of 2015. One of the main findings is that low wage earners are faced with numerous hindrances in their employment. Most participants mentioned illness, caring for family members, child rearing and advanced age as their main challenges on the job market. These either meant the participants were unable to work full time or were unable to work at all. Some of the focus group participants were only marginally employed. The introduction of the minimum wage was perceived as a step in the right direction of combating wage dumping as well as a higher recognition of low wage earners. However, the minimum wage of 8.50 Euro at the time the study was conducted was perceived as too low to establish justice on the basis of wage justice and the needs-base principle for low wage earners. Additionally, participants see the need for improvement of minimum wage compliance and its supervision.