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Low-wage Lessons

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  • John Schmitt

Abstract

Over the last two decades, high – and, in some countries, rising – rates of low-wage work have emerged as a major political concern. If low-wage jobs act as a stepping stone to higher-paying work, then even a relatively high share of low-wage work may not be a serious social problem. If, however, as appears to be the case in much of the wealthy world, low-wage work is a persistent and recurring state for many workers, then low-wages may contribute to broader income and wealth inequality and constitute a threat to social cohesion. This report draws five lessons on low-wage work from the recent experiences of the United States and other rich economies in the OECD.

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File URL: http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/low-wage-2012-01.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in its series CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs with number 2012-03.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2012-03

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Keywords: low-wage; minimum wage; EITC; unions;

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  1. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Is the EITC as Good as an NIT? Conditional Cash Transfers and Tax Incidence," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 177-208, February.
  2. Mary Gregory & Miriam Beblo & Wiemer Salverda & Ioannis Theodossiou, 2009. "Introduction," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages i1-i10, April.
  3. Nada Eissa & Hilary Hoynes, 2008. "Redistribution and Tax Expenditures: The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Working Papers 14307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hye Jin Rho & John Schmitt, 2010. "Health-Insurance Coverage Rates for US Workers, 1979-2008," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2010-06, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  5. Rebecca Ray & Janet C. Gornick & John Schmitt, 2008. "Parental Leave Policies in 21 Countries: Assessing Generosity and Gender Equality," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2008-23, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  6. Kartik Athreya & Devin Reilly & Nicole B. Simpson, 2010. "Earned income tax credit recipients: income, marginal tax rates, wealth, and credit constraints," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 3Q, pages 229-258.
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