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Holger Schäfer IW-Trends No. 4 15. December 2021 Low-Wage Employment in Germany: Opportunity or Risk

Low-wage employment is often perceived as a societal problem to be minimised by means of legislation. Using data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), this study shows that while there are indeed indications that low-wage workers experience social problems more frequently than higher-wage employees, they are generally better off than the unemployed.

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Opportunity or Risk
Holger Schäfer IW-Trends No. 4 15. December 2021

Low-Wage Employment in Germany: Opportunity or Risk

German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

Low-wage employment is often perceived as a societal problem to be minimised by means of legislation. Using data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), this study shows that while there are indeed indications that low-wage workers experience social problems more frequently than higher-wage employees, they are generally better off than the unemployed.

Moreover, the low-wage sector plays an important role in the integration into the labour market of those previously inactive. Using propensity score matching, it can be shown that those who are unemployed or inactive but willing to work can significantly increase their chances in the labour market by taking up low-wage employment. The data show that after five years the low-wage workers had spent about five months less in unemployment than a control group who had not taken up low-paid jobs. Income prospects also improve significantly: five years after entering the low-wage sector, the workers earned 12,000 euros more than the control group. The challenge is therefore not to limit the low-wage sector by means of legislation but to improve the opportunities for the lower-paid to move up into higher wage segments.

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Opportunity or Risk
Holger Schäfer IW-Trends No. 4 15. December 2021

Low-Wage Employment in Germany: Opportunity or Risk

German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

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Analysis of the working conditions of office workers
Andrea Hammermann / Oliver Stettes IW-Report No. 62 10. December 2023

Office work in transition: Analysis of the working conditions of office workers

Office work has changed considerably over time and reflects both technical progress and the zeitgeist of the decades.

IW

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Mareike Decker / Carolin Fulda / Maisun Lange IW-Trends No. 4 24. November 2023

Working with Long COVID: Impacts and Options for Work Arrangements

A SARS-CoV-2 infection can have long-term health consequences, a phenomenon commonly known as Long COVID, which often affect individuals of working age.

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