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Minimum wage restrictions and employee effort in incomplete labor markets: An experimental investigation

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  • Owens, Mark F.
  • Kagel, John H.

Abstract

A minimum wage raises average wages along with modest increases in employees' average effort levels, generating a Pareto improvement in social welfare. The minimum wage reduces effort in the neighborhood of the minimum, but has no systematic effect on effort levels at higher wages. As a consequence average effort increases modestly with a minimum wage as it raises average wages. Similar results are reported within groups, both when introducing and eliminating a minimum wage, although the within group effects of introducing a minimum wage are stronger than dropping it.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 73 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 317-326

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:73:y:2010:i:3:p:317-326

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Minimum wage Effort response Gift exchange Experiment;

References

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  1. Martin Brown & Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr, 2004. "Relational Contracts and the Nature of Market Interactions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(3), pages 747-780, 05.
  2. Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast Food Industry," Working Papers 678, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-93, September.
  4. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  5. Michael Kosfeld & Armin Falk, 2006. "The Hidden Costs of Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1611-1630, December.
  6. David Neumark & DMark Schweitzer & DaWilliam Wascher, 2004. "Minimum Wage Effects throughout the Wage Distribution," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  7. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 1999. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 106-134, February.
  8. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2004. "Do Labour Market Conditions Affect Gift Exchange? Some Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 684-708, 07.
  9. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  10. Bewley, Truman F., 1998. "Why not cut pay?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 459-490, May.
  11. Gary Charness, 2004. "Attribution and Reciprocity in an Experimental Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 665-688, July.
  12. Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
  13. Fehr, Ernst, et al, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-51, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kocher, Martin G. & Luhan, Wolfgang J. & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "Testing a Forgotten Aspect of Akerlof's Gift Exchange Hypothesis: Relational Contracts with Individual and Uniform Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 6415, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. David Cooper & John Lightle, 2013. "The gift of advice: communication in a bilateral gift exchange game," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 443-477, December.
  3. Gary Charness & Peter J. Kuhn, 2010. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," NBER Working Papers 15913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mark Owens, 2012. "Responsibility-Alleviation and Other-Regarding Preferences with Peer Workers in Labor Markets: An Experimental Investigation," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 353-369, September.
  5. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Duersch, Peter & Oechssler, Jörg & Vadovic, Radovan, 2010. "Mandatory Sick Pay Provision: A Labor Market Experiment," Working Papers 0498, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  6. Steven Tucker & Charles Noussair & Fortuna Casoria & Arno Riedl, 2013. "Experimental Labor Markets And Policy Considerations: Incomplete Contracts And Macroeconomic Aspects," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 398-420, 07.
  7. Daniele Nosenzo, 2013. "Pay Secrecy And Effort Provision," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(3), pages 1779-1794, 07.
  8. Charness, Gary & Du, Ninghua & Yang, Chun-Lei & Yao, Lan, 2013. "Promises in contract design," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 194-208.
  9. Benndorf, Volker & Rau, Holger A., 2012. "Competition in the workplace: An experimental investigation," DICE Discussion Papers 53, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  10. Mark F. Owens, 2010. "Other-Regarding Preferences with Peer Workers in Labor Markets: An Experimental Investigation," Working Papers 201008, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  11. Wang, Xianghong, 2012. "When workers do not know – The behavioral effects of minimum wage laws revisited," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 951-962.

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