This cumulative dissertation reflects on labour market inequalities from two perspectives. The first deals with the role of geography in shaping inequalities in an aging knowledge-based economy. In particular, it explores recent trends in demographic aging for regional labour markets in Germany, investigates the causal link between an aging workforce and regional innovation and examines the role of selective migration in shaping regional disparities. The results demonstrate that location matters in an aging economy where regions are increasingly becoming polarized due to agglomeration forces and urbanisation trends. However, the thesis also shows opportunities for regions to enhance their innovation performance by exploiting knowledge externalities between young and older workers. The second perspective deals with the economic effects of minimum wages as one important policy instrument targeted at reducing inequalities. In particular, it investigates both employment effects as well as the effects on earnings and wage inequality of a sectoral minimum wage in Germany, where the minimum wage bites extraordinary hard by international standards. The results show that a minimum wage geared towards low-wage workers may not only increase their own earnings, but also render unexpected side effects for workers located higher up in the wage distribution, including reduced employment chances among qualified workers and diminished returns to skills.

Category

Monograph

Keywords

regional disparities, demographic aging, selective migration, wage inequality, minimum wages