Matthias Dütsch, Oliver Bruttel

Working Conditions in Minimum Wage Jobs

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: minimum wage work, low pay, working conditions, propensity score matching.

There is abundant research on the effects of minimum wages and the characteristics of minimum wage workers, but there is a lack of evidence on the working conditions in minimum wage jobs. However, this is a highly relevant issue because health research indicates that poor working conditions can lead to severe health problems. Based on the BIBB/BAuA Employment Survey 2018, a nationwide representative study of the German workforce comprising approximately 20,000 individuals, we provide insights into the physical working conditions of workers in minimum wage jobs, and characterise their work situation. Using propensity score matching, we compare workers in minimum wage jobs with workers in higher-paid jobs, controlling for factors such as sociodemographic, industry, and company-level characteristics. Our results show that workers in minimum wage jobs face detrimental working conditions. They must cope with unfavourable physical and environmental working conditions, often have little say in how their work is organised, and are less socially embedded in their workplaces than workers in higher-paid jobs.

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