Minimum Wages in Colombia: Holding the Middle With a Bite on the Poor
AbstractThis paper exploits the long history of the minimum wage in a relatively stable developing economy like Colombia in order to see whether it may alleviate the living conditions of low income families and reduce income inequality. The paper does not only explore how the minimum wage may serve these purposes, but also how it may distort market outcomes to do so. We found significant negative minimum wage effects on both the likelihood of being employed and hours worked for all family members, being it stronger for women, and the young and less educated people. We also found a positive effect on non-head participation especialilly in families with low human capial. But, more important, we found evidence that the minimum wage ends up being regressive, improving the living conditions of families in the middle and the upper part of the income distribution with net losses for those at the bottom.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Banco de la Republica de Colombia in its series Borradores de Economia with number 280.
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Minimum wage; income distribution; income inequality; public policy.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
- J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-05-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2005-05-07 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LAM-2005-05-07 (Central & South America)
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