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The impact of minimum wages on wages, work and poverty in Nicaragua

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  • Alaniz, Enrique
  • Gindling, T.H.
  • Terrell, Katherine

Abstract

In this paper we use an individual- and household-level panel data set to study the impact of changes in legal minimum wages on a host of labor market outcomes including: a) wages and employment, b) transitions of workers across jobs (in the covered and uncovered sectors) and employment status (unemployment and out of the labor force), and c) transitions into and out of poverty. We find that changes in the legal minimum wage affect only those workers whose initial wage (before the change in minimum wages) is close to the minimum. For example, increases in the legal minimum wage lead to significant increases in the wages and decreases in employment of private covered sector workers who have wages within 20% of the minimum wage before the change, but have no significant impact on wages in other parts of the distribution. The estimates from the employment transition equations suggest that the decrease in covered private sector employment is due to a combination of layoffs and reductions in hiring. Most workers who lose their jobs in the covered private sector as a result of higher legal minimum wages leave the labor force or go into unpaid family work; a smaller proportion find work in the public sector. We find no evidence that these workers become unemployed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): S1 ()
Pages: S45-S59

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:s1:p:s45-s59

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Keywords: Minimum wages; Employment; Poverty;

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References

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  1. David Neumark & Wendy Cunningham & Lucas Siga, 2004. "The Effects of the Minimum Wage in Brazil on the Distribution of Family Incomes: 1996-2001," Working Papers 050627, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  2. John T. Addison & McKinley L. Blackburn, 1999. "Minimum wages and poverty," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(3), pages 393-409, April.
  3. T. H. Gindling & Katherine Terrell, 2004. "Legal Minimum Wages and the Wages of Formal and Informal Sector Workers in Costa Rica," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 04-102, UMBC Department of Economics.
  4. Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2009. "Minimum wages, wages and employment in various sectors in Honduras," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 291-303, June.
  5. Andalón, Mabel & Pagés, Carmen, 2008. "Minimum Wages in Kenya," IZA Discussion Papers 3390, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Claudio Montenegro & Carmen Pagés, 2005. "Who Benefits from Labor Market Regulations? Chile 1960-1998," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Jorge Restrepo & Andrea Tokman R. & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edi (ed.), Labor Markets and Institutions, edition 1, volume 8, chapter 4, pages 077-114 Central Bank of Chile.
  7. Gindling, T. H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2006. "Minimum Wages, Globalization and Poverty in Honduras," IZA Discussion Papers 2497, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, December.
  9. Carmen Pagés-Serra & James J. Heckman, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," IDB Publications 4119, Inter-American Development Bank.
  10. Gindling, T. H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2004. "The Effects of Multiple Minimum Wages Throughout the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 1159, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," Working Papers 060708, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2007.
  12. Lustig, N. & Mcleod, D., 1996. "Minimum Wages and Poverty in Developing Countries : Some Empirical Evidence," Papers 125, Brookings Institution - Working Papers.
  13. Mariano Bosch & Marco Manacorda, 2010. "Minimum Wages and Earnings Inequality in Urban Mexico," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 128-49, October.
  14. Carlos Arango & Angélica Pachón, 2004. "Minimum Wages in Colombia: Holding the Middle with a Bite," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003224, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
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  1. Minimum wages in Nicaragua
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-02-09 14:57:00
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Cited by:
  1. Alvarado, Rafael, 2012. "Wages differentials in Ecuador: A regional approach with sample selection of Heckman and Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition," MPRA Paper 37470, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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