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The effect of the minimum wage for tipped workers on firm strategy, employees and social welfare

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Author Info

  • Azar, Ofer H.

Abstract

Millions of workers derive much of their income from tips and are subject to the “tipped minimum wage” that differs from the regular minimum wage. This article examines the implications of the tipped minimum wage and shows that increasing it may lead restaurants to adopt a compulsory service charge in lieu of tipping to extract the economic rent enjoyed by waiters under tipping. Because servers are better off with tipping, this implies that increasing the tipped minimum wage in an attempt to increase servers' income may achieve the opposite result. Moreover, increasing the tipped minimum wage may reduce social welfare.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 748-755

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:5:p:748-755

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

Related research

Keywords: Minimum wage; Tipping; The restaurant industry; Business strategy; Tipped workers;

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References

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  1. Azar Ofer H, 2008. "Strategic Behavior and Social Norms in Tipped Service Industries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-18, March.
  2. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
  3. Lynn, Michael & Zinkhan, George M & Harris, Judy, 1993. " Consumer Tipping: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 478-88, December.
  4. Leif Danziger, 2009. "Endogenous Monopsony and the Perverse Effect of the Minimum Wage in Small Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 2740, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Azar, Ofer H., 2004. "The history of tipping--from sixteenth-century England to United States in the 1910s," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 745-764, December.
  6. Ofer H. Azar, 2007. "Do people tip strategically, to improve future service? Theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 515-527, May.
  7. John Anderson & Orn Bodvarsson, 2005. "Do higher tipped minimum wages boost server pay?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(7), pages 391-393.
  8. Matt Parrett, 2006. "An Analysis of the Determinants of Tipping Behavior: A Laboratory Experiment and Evidence from Restaurant Tipping," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 489–514, October.
  9. Wessels, Walter John, 1997. "Minimum Wages and Tipped Servers," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 334-49, April.
  10. Mincer, Jacob, 1976. "Unemployment Effects of Minimum Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S87-104, August.
  11. Azar, Ofer H., 2004. "What sustains social norms and how they evolve?: The case of tipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 49-64, May.
  12. Lynn, Michael & Grassman, Andrea, 1990. "Restaurant tipping: an examination of three 'rational' explanations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 169-181, June.
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