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Mindestlohn und Arbeitsintensität – Evidenz aus Deutschland

Himmelreicher, Ralf; Fedorets, Alexandra (2021)

News from Nov 30, 2021

Mindestlohn und Arbeitsintensität. Evidenz aus Deutschland. In: WSI Mitteilungen, 74. JG., 6/2021, pp. 446-453 | DOI


The political debate following the introduction of the minimum wage in the year 2015 considers potential increases in work intensity in the affected wage segments – among other negative consequences of the reform. This expectation is based not just on theory, but also on sporadic international evidence. Indeed, when the marginal value of work increases, employers have an incentive to recoup their increased costs by pushing for greater hourly productivity. In addition, it may be assumed that increased wages may also give an incentive for workers to increase their hourly output. Using the representative employee survey of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) on self-reported changes in work intensity, the authors empirically examine the adjustments of this threshold. They show that an increase in labour intensity does not happen in the minimum wage segment, but rather in the higher wage segments. In addition, it is revealed that full-time employees and university graduates report more frequent and higher increases in their work intensity than the low-skilled or mini-jobbers, who are more often employed in the low-wage sector.