Typology of EU Countries from the Viewpoint of the Minimum Wage and Selected Characteristics
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The minimum wage in EU countries is applied either by law or through agreement between social partners. The aim of this paper is to create a typology of EU countries with respect to the amount of the statutory minimum wage and selected characteristics (economic level, educational level of the population and rate of unemployment). The analysis draws on official statistical data which have been processed using statistical methods. After the evaluation of the values of the calculated coefficients of correlation, only two characteristics were included in the cluster analysis (economic level and educational level). The reason for this, is that it was shown that the amount of the minimum wage and the rate of unemployment were independent variables. On the basis of the results of the cluster analysis, seven clusters were identified. From the description and analysis of the individual clusters it was not possible to draw any definitive conclusion on whether a particular level of minimum wage is bound to a certain educational level. Even the statement that higher statutory minimum wages are found in countries with higher economic level can only be made with considerable caution. It was also evident that “old” EU countries showed much greater homogeneity in these characteristics than was found in the “new”ones.
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