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The impact of minimum wages on quit, layoff and hiring rates

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  • Pierre Brochu
  • David A. Green

Abstract

We investigate differences in quit, layoff and hiring rates in high versus low minimum wage regimes using Canadian data spanning 1979 to 2008. The data include consistent questions on job tenure and reason for job separation for the whole period. Over the same time frame, there were over 140 minimum wage changes in Canada. We find that higher minimum wages are associated with lower hiring rates but also with lower job separation rates. Importantly, the reduced separation rates are due mainly to reductions in layoffs, occur in the first 6 months of a job, and are present for unskilled workers of all ages. Our estimates imply that a 10% increase in the minimum wage generates a 3.9% reduction in the layoff rate. We present a search and matching model that fits with these patterns and test its implications. Overall, our results imply that jobs in higher minimum wage regimes are more stable but harder to get.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W11/06.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:11/06

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Cited by:
  1. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2012. "Minimum Wage Shocks, Employment Flows and Labor Market Frictions," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt76p927ks, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  2. Allegretto, Sylvia & Dube, Arindrajit & Reich, Michael & Zipperer, Ben, 2013. "Credible Research Designs for Minimum Wage Studies," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt3hk7s3fw, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  3. Ronald Bachmann & Marion König & Sandra Schaffner, 2012. "Lost in Transition? – Minimum Wage Effects on German Construction Workers," Ruhr Economic Papers 0358, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  4. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2011. "Do Frictions Matter in the Labor Market? Accessions, Separations and Minimum Wage Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 5811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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