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Using Local Labor Market Data to Re-Examine the Employment Effects of the Minimum Wage

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  • Jeffrey P. Thompson
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    Abstract

    Using quarterly Census data for 1996-2000, the author evaluates how minimum wages affected teenage employment at the county level. An analysis that includes all counties yields small and statistically insignificant effects, consistent with previous research using state panels. However, in counties where the minimum wage was likely binding (above the market-clearing wage for teens), the negative impact on employment was considerably larger. The effect was strongest in small counties, was restricted to “transitory” jobs and new hires, and apparently was not experienced by young adults ages 19-22. The small employment effects found in much of the literature, the author argues, at least partly reflect the estimates’ inclusion of local labor markets where the minimum wage is not binding. By averaging the effects across all areas, with no disaggregation based on where the minimum wage is binding and where it is not, these studies overlook important regional variation.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 62 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (April)
    Pages: 343-366

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:62:y:2009:i:3:p:343-366

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    Cited by:
    1. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2011. "Do Frictions Matter in the Labor Market? Accessions, Separations, and Minimum Wage Effects," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt4t3342nd, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    2. David Neumark & J.M. Ian Salas & William Wascher, 2013. "Revisiting the Minimum Wage-Employment Debate: Throwing Out the Baby with the Bathwater?," NBER Working Papers 18681, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jonathan Meer & Jeremy West, 2013. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 19262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Allegretto, Sylvia & Dube, Arindrajit & Reich, Michael, 2009. "Spatial Heterogeneity and Minimum Wages: Employment Estimates for Teens Using Cross-State Commuting Zones," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt1x99m65f, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    5. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2013. "Minimum Wage Shocks, Employment Flows and Labor Market Frictions," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt27z0006g, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.

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