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The Impact of Minimum Wages on Employment in a Low-Income Country: a Quasi-Natural Experiment in Indonesia

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  • Vivi Alatas
  • Lisa A. Cameron

Abstract

The extensive literature on the employment impact of minimum wages has focused heavily on industrialized nations and very little on the developing world, despite the importance of minimum wages in many low-income countries. One such country, Indonesia, was the setting for an unusual quasi-natural experiment: not only did minimum wages in Indonesia increase sharply between 1990 and 1996, but the resultant increment in average wages varied markedly across different areas in Greater Jakarta. The authors use household-level labor market data to determine the extent of compliance with the legislation, then estimate the employment impact in the clothing, textiles, footwear, and leather industries based on a census of all large and medium-sized establishments. The evidence suggests that there was no negative employment impact for large establishments, either foreign or domestic, but that workers in smaller, domestic establishments may have suffered job losses as a result of minimum wage increases.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 61 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
Pages: 201-223

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:61:y:2008:i:2:p:201-223

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Cited by:
  1. Kerry L. Papps, 2012. "The Effects of Social Security Taxes and Minimum Wages on Employment: Evidence from Turkey," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(3), pages 686-707, July.
  2. Magruder, Jeremy R., 2013. "Can minimum wages cause a big push? Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 48-62.
  3. Del Carpio, Ximena & Nguyen, Ha & Wang, Liang Choon, 2012. "Does the minimum wage affect employment ? evidence from the manufacturing sector in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6147, The World Bank.
  4. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," NBER Working Papers 12663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Eva Lajtkepová, 2010. "Minimum Wage and Labour Market," Acta Oeconomica Pragensia, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(1), pages 3-20.
  6. Kis-Katos, Krisztina & Sparrow, Robert, 2009. "Child Labor and Trade Liberalization in Indonesia," IZA Discussion Papers 4376, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Sen, Anindya & Rybczynski, Kathleen & Van De Waal, Corey, 2011. "Teen employment, poverty, and the minimum wage: Evidence from Canada," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 36-47, January.
  8. Haryo Aswicahyono & Chris Manning, 2011. "Exports and Job Creation in Indonesia Before and After the Asian Financial Crisis," Departmental Working Papers 2011-11, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  9. Del Carpio, Ximena & Messina, Julián & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2014. "Minimum Wage: Does It Improve Welfare in Thailand?," IZA Discussion Papers 7911, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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