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The Contribution of Minimum Wages to Increasing Wage Inequality

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  • Coen N. Teulings

    ()
    (SEO, University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

There has been much attention for the causes of the increase in wageinequality in the United States since the mid seventies. DiNardo,Fortin, and Lemieux (1996) showed that minimum wages can explain 25%. The present paper uses a more general approach requiring noassumptions on how minimum wages affect wage distribution and returnon human capital. Applying this methodology to the United States forthe period 1973-1991 shows that the rise in wage inequality duringthe eighties can be largely explained by the decrease of minimumwages in that period. The compressing effect of increasing minimumwages is felt at wage levels up to at least twice the minimum.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 98-093/3.

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Date of creation: 03 Sep 1998
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:19980093

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  1. Robert H. Meyer & David A. Wise, 1981. "Discontinuous Distributions and Missing Persons: The Minimum Wage and Unemployed Youth," NBER Working Papers 0711, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fortin, N.M. & Lemieux, T., 1996. "Rank Regressions, Wage Distributions and the Gender Gap," Cahiers de recherche 9607, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  3. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-93, September.
  4. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-29, April.
  5. Coen N. Teulings, 0000. "Aggregation Bias in Elasticities of Substitution and the Minimum Wage Paradox," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-118/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Coen N. Teulings, 1999. "Substitution and Complementarity under Comparative Advantage and the Accumulation of Human Capital," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-049/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Teulings, Coen N, 1995. "The Wage Distribution in a Model of the Assignment of Skills to Jobs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 280-315, April.
  8. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  9. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1992. "Minimum Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0080, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. David Autor & Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," Working Papers 756, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  11. Adrian Wood, 1995. "How Trade Hurt Unskilled Workers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 57-80, Summer.
  12. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
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