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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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References

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  1. 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..
  2. 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.
  3. Coen N. Teulings, 1998. "The Contribution of Minimum Wages to Increasing Wage Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-093/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, octubre-d.
  5. 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.
  6. 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..
  7. Topel, Robert H, 1994. "Regional Labor Markets and the Determinants of Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 17-22, May.
  8. Meyer, Robert H & Wise, David A, 1983. "Discontinuous Distributions and Missing Persons: The Minimum Wage and Unemployed Youth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1677-98, November.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Sattinger, Michael, 1975. "Comparative Advantage and the Distributions of Earnings and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 455-68, May.
  14. 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.
  15. MacDonald, Glenn M, 1982. "Information in Production," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1143-62, September.
  16. 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.
  17. Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Crime and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 1031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-80, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Coen N. Teulings, 1998. "The Contribution of Minimum Wages to Increasing Wage Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-093/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Joop Hartog, 2002. "Desperately Seeking Structure: Sherwin Rosen (1938--2001)," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 519-531, November.
  4. repec:dgr:uvatin:2003024 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Robert A. J. Dur & Coenraad N. Teulings, 2001. "Education and Efficient Redistribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 592, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Robert Dur & Coen Teulings, 2003. "Are Education Subsides an Efficient Redistributive Device?," CEE Discussion Papers 0030, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  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. Gersbach, Hans & Schmutzler, Armin, 2006. "The Effects of Globalization on Worker Training," IZA Discussion Papers 2403, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/53r60a8s3kup1vc9je5h30d2n is not listed on IDEAS
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Pauline Givord, 2011. "Essay on Four Issues in Public Policy Evaluation," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/53r60a8s3ku, Sciences Po.
  13. Melchor Fernández & Alberto Meixide & Hipólito J. Simón, . "El trabajo de bajos salarios en España," Studies on the Spanish Economy 152, FEDEA.
  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. repec:dgr:uvatin:2001090 is not listed on IDEAS
  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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