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Aggregation Bias in Elasticities of Substitution and the Minimum Wage Paradox

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  • Coen N. Teulings

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

While the employment effects of minimum wages are usually reported to be small (suggesting low substitutability between skill types), direct estimates suggest a much larger degree of substitutability. This paper argues that this paradox is largely due to a bias induced by the aggregation of skill types into broad categories. An assignment model is applied where skilled workers have a comparative advantage in complex jobs. The implied pattern of substitutability reveals the sources of the bias. Estimation results for the United States show elasticities of complementarity to be underestimated by up to a factor 2.5. The methods laid out can likewise be applied to other markets where different quality types are close substitutes, like the housing market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 98-118/3.

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Date of creation: 00 0000
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:19980118

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Related research

Keywords: aggregation bias; assignment models; substitutation; minimum wages;

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  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Crime and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 1031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert H. Meyer & David A. Wise, 1982. "The Effects of the Minimum Wage on the Employment and Earnings of Youth," NBER Working Papers 0849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, June.
  4. Chang, Yang-Ming & Ehrlich, Isaac, 1985. "On the Economics of Compliance with the Minimum Wage Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 84-91, February.
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  6. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
  7. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," NBER Working Papers 4509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. MacDonald, Glenn M, 1982. "Information in Production," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1143-62, September.
  12. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Natives," NBER Working Papers 3123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-80, June.
  14. Coen N. Teulings, 1998. "The Contribution of Minimum Wages to Increasing Wage Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-093/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  15. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 1993. "Wage Dispersion, Returns to Skill, and Black-White Wage Differentials," NBER Working Papers 4365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Sattinger, Michael, 1975. "Comparative Advantage and the Distributions of Earnings and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 455-68, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Melchor Fernández & Alberto Meixide & Hipólito J. Simón, . "El trabajo de bajos salarios en España," Studies on the Spanish Economy 152, FEDEA.
  2. Robert A. J. Dur & Coenraad N. Teulings, 2001. "Education and Efficient Redistribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 592, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/53r60a8s3kup1vc9je5h30d2n is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Pauline Givord, 2011. "Essay on Four Issues in Public Policy Evaluation," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/53r60a8s3ku, Sciences Po.
  5. Robert A.J. Dur & Coen N. Teulings, 2003. "Are Education Subsidies an Efficient Redistributive Device?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-024/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 19 Sep 2003.
  6. Coen N. Teulings, 2003. "The contribution of minimum wages to increasing wage inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 801-833, October.
  7. 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.
  8. repec:dgr:uvatin:2003024 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. repec:dgr:uvatin:2001090 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Gersbach, Hans & Schmutzler, Armin, 2006. "The Effects of Globalization on Worker Training," IZA Discussion Papers 2403, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Joop Hartog, 2002. "Desperately Seeking Structure: Sherwin Rosen (1938--2001)," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 519-531, November.
  12. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
  13. Anna Lukiyanova, 2011. "Effects of Minimum Wages on the Russian Wage Distribution," HSE Working papers WP BRP 09/EC/2011, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  14. Branimir Jovanovic, 2013. "Aggregation Bias in Trade Elasticities: The Case of Macedonia," FIW Working Paper series 106, FIW.
  15. Aart Gerritsen & Bas Jacobs, 2014. "Is a Minimum Wage an Appropriate Instrument for Redistribution?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4588, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Pia Rattenhuber, 2014. "Building the minimum wage: the distributional impact of Germany’s first sectoral minimum wage on wages and hours across different wage bargaining regimes," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 1429-1446, June.
  17. Rafael Lopes de Melo, 2012. "Firm Heterogeneity, Sorting and the Minimum Wage," 2012 Meeting Papers 611, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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