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Does Raising the Minimum Wage Help the Poor?

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  • ANDREW LEIGH

Abstract

What is the impact of raising the minimum wage on family incomes? Using data from the 1994-1995 to 2002-2003 Survey of Income and Housing, the characteristics of low-wage workers are analysed. Those who earn near-minimum wages are disproportionately female, unmarried and young, without postschool qualifications and overseas born. About one-third of near-minimum-wage workers are the sole worker in their household. Due to low labour force participation rates in the poorest households, minimum-wage workers are most likely to be in middle-income households. Under plausible parameters for the effect of minimum wages on hourly wages and employment, it appears unlikely that raising the minimum wage will significantly lower family income inequality. Copyright © 2007 The Economic Society of Australia.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The Economic Society of Australia in its journal Economic Record.

Volume (Year): 83 (2007)
Issue (Month): 263 (December)
Pages: 432-445

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:83:y:2007:i:263:p:432-445

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Cited by:
  1. Lee, Wang-Sheng & Suardi, Sandy, 2010. "Minimum Wages and Employment: Reconsidering the Use of a Time-Series Approach as an Evaluation Tool," IZA Discussion Papers 4748, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Joseph J. Sabia, 2008. "Minimum wages and the economic well-being of single mothers," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 848-866.
  3. Frijters, Paul & Gregory, Bob, 2006. "From Golden Age to Golden Age: Australia's "Great Leap Forward"?," IZA Discussion Papers 2068, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Benassi, Chiara, 2011. "The implementation of minimum wage : challenges and creative solutions," ILO Working Papers 462988, International Labour Organization.
  5. Roger Wilkins & Mark Wooden, 2011. "Measuring Minimum Award Wage Reliance in Australia: The HILDA Survey Experience," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n11, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  6. Michele Campolieti & Morley Gunderson & Byron Lee, 2012. "The (Non) Impact of Minimum Wages on Poverty: Regression and Simulation Evidence for Canada," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 287-302, September.

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