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The Endogenous Determination of Minimum Wage

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  • Epstein, Gil S
  • Nitzan, Shmuel

Abstract

In this paper we study the endogenous determination of minimum wage employing a political-economic game-theoretic approach. A major objective of the paper is to clarify the crucial role of the strength of the workers' union and of political culture on the determination of the minimum wage. In general, the equilibrium minimum wage differs from that postulated in the literature. In our uncertain environment the optimal minimum wage from the workers' union point of view is lower than the level that maximizes its objective function in a certain environment where there is no opposition to the proposed minimum wage. We establish that a political culture that assigns a positive weight to the public wellbeing can give rise to a wage that equals or exceeds these levels.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2319.

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Date of creation: Dec 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2319

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Keywords: Endogenous Determination; Minimum Wage; Political Culture; Public Policy;

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References

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  1. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
  2. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1995. "A Framework for Analysing the Political Support for Active Labour Market Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Rama, Martin & Tabellim, Guido, 1998. "Lobbying by capital and labor over trade and labor market policies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1295-1316, July.
  4. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," Working Papers 694, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Van Long, Ngo & Vousden, Neil, 1991. "Protectionist responses and declining industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 87-103, February.
  6. Appelbaum, Elie & Katz, Eliakim, 1987. "Seeking Rents by Setting Rents: The Political Economy of Rent Seeking," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 685-99, September.
  7. Oren M. Levin-Waldman, 1998. "Exploring the Politics of the Minimum Wage," Macroeconomics 9805010, EconWPA.
  8. Magee,Stephen P. & Brock,William A. & Young,Leslie, 1989. "Black Hole Tariffs and Endogenous Policy Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521377003, April.
  9. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-42, July.
  10. Rama, Martin, 1997. " Imperfect Rent Dissipation with Unionized Labor," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(1-2), pages 55-75, October.
  11. Rodrik, Dani, 1986. "Tariffs, subsidies, and welfare with endogenous policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 285-299, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Bacache-Beauvallet, Maya & Lehmann, Etienne, 2005. "Minimum Wage or Negative Income Tax: Why Skilled Workers May Favor Wage Rigidities," IZA Discussion Papers 1570, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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