The introduction of a minimum wage in Germany and the effects on physical activity participation

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesTransferpeer-review


The relationship between income and physical activity has been extensively studied. This
paper utilizes the introduction of the minimum wage in Germany in 2015 as a quasiexperiment
to determine the causal effect of minimum wages on the frequency of physical
activity participation. Employing survey data from the German Socio-Economic Panel
between 2013 and 2017, regression-adjusted difference-in-difference models combined
with matching techniques are estimated. Our findings reveal a notable negative effect immediately
after the minimum wage implementation on physical activity frequency. Given
that the introduction of the minimum wage did not increase monthly gross income but
reduced working hours, it appears that affected individuals exhibit preferences and engage
in utility maximization that do not emphasize healthy behaviors. This effect is particularly
pronounced among older females in white-collar occupations.
Original languageGerman
JournalInternational Journal of Health Economics and Management
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2024