Would a Legal Minimum Wage Reduce Poverty? A Micro-simulation Study for Germany


  • Kai-Uwe Müller
  • Viktor Steiner


In view of rising poverty rates, the introduction of a legal minimum wage has become an important policy issue in Germany. We analyze the distributional effects of a nationwide minimum wage of 7.50e per hour based on a micro-simulation model accounting for interactions between wages, the tax-benefit system, and net household incomes. Due to the existing system of means-tested income support, the minimum wage would be ineffective in reducing poverty in the overall population, although poverty among singles and families with children or with a female household head would be slightly reduced.