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The Effects of the Minimum Wage in Brazil on the Distribution of Family Incomes: 1996-2001

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  • David Neumark

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • Wendy Cunningham

    (World Bank)

  • Lucas Siga

    (World Bank)

Abstract

The Brazilian economy has long relied on the minimum wage, having first implemented a minimum in 1940. Shortly after taking office in 2003, Brazil’s President raised the minimum wage by 20 percent and promised to double the value of the minimum wage before his term ends in 2006. The usual rationale for minimum wage increases is to bring about beneficial changes in the income distribution, by raising incomes of poor and low-income families. The goal of this paper is to evaluate the efficacy of the minimum wage in Brazil in bringing about these changes in the income distribution. We examine data drawn from Brazil’s major metropolitan areas, studying the years after Brazil’s hyper-inflation ended. The estimates provide no evidence that minimum wages in Brazil lift family incomes at the lower points of the income distribution; if anything some of the evidence points to adverse effects on lower-income families.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 050627.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Development Economics, 2006, vol. 80, issue 1, pages 136-159.
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:050627

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Postal: Irvine, CA 92697-3125
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References

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  1. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, January.
  2. William Maloney & Jairo Mendez, 2004. "Measuring the Impact of Minimum Wages. Evidence from Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 109-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sara Lemos, 2004. "A Menu Of Minimum Wage Variables For Evaluating Wages and Employment Effects: Evidence From Brazil," Labor and Demography 0403009, EconWPA.
  4. David Neumark & Mark Schweitzer & William Wascher, 2005. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on the Distribution of Family Incomes: A Nonparametric Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 867-894.
  5. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1.
  6. Gabriel Ulyssea & Miguel N. Foguel, 2006. "Efeitos do Salário Mínimo Sobre o Mercado de Trabalho Brasileiro," Discussion Papers 1168, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  7. Francisco de Hollanda Guimarães Ferreira & Peter Lanjouw & Marcelo Neri, 2000. "A new poverty profile for Brazil using PPV, PNAD and census data," Textos para discussão 418, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  8. Marcelo Neri & Gustavo Gonzaga & José Márcio Camargo, 1998. "Efeitos informais do salário mínimo e pobreza," Textos para discussão 393, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  9. Neri, Marcelo Cortes, 2002. "Decent Work and the Informal Sector in Brazil," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 461, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  10. Charles Brown & Curtis Gilroy & Andrew Kohen, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 0846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Richard V. Burkhauser & Kenneth A. Couch & David C. Wittenburg, 1996. "Who gets what from minimum wage hikes: A re-estimation of Card and Krueger's distributional analysis in "Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage."," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(3), pages 547-552, April.
  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. Ricardo Paes de Barros & Carlos Henrique Corseuil & Miguel N. Foguel & Philippe G. Leite, 2001. "Uma avaliação dos impactos do salário mínimo sobre o nível de pobreza metropolitana no Brasil," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 2(1), pages 47-71, January-J.
  14. Brown, Charles, 1999. "Minimum wages, employment, and the distribution of income," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 32, pages 2101-2163 Elsevier.
  15. David Neumark & DMark Schweitzer & DaWilliam Wascher, 2004. "Minimum Wage Effects throughout the Wage Distribution," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alaniz, Enrique & Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2011. "The impact of minimum wages on wages, work and poverty in Nicaragua," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages S45-S59.
  2. Larrain, Mauricio & Poblete, Joaquin, 2007. "Age-differentiated minimum wages in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 777-797, November.
  3. Leif Danziger, 2009. "Endogenous Monopsony and the Perverse Effect of the Minimum Wage in Small Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 2740, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Bosch, Mariano & Goñi-Pacchioni, Edwin & Maloney, William, 2012. "Trade liberalization, labor reforms and formal–informal employment dynamics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 653-667.
  5. Fernando Borraz & Nicolás Gonzalez Pampillón, 2011. "Assessing the Distributive Impact of More than Doubling the Minimum Wage: The Case of Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1711, Department of Economics - dECON.
  6. Jellal, Mohamed, 2012. "Maroc salaire minimum emploi et pauvreté
    [Morocco minimum wage employment and poverty]
    ," MPRA Paper 38491, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2009. "Minimum wages, wages and employment in various sectors in Honduras," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 291-303, June.
  8. Daniel B. Klein & Stewart Dompe, 2007. "Reasons for Supporting the Minimum Wage: Asking Signatories of the "Raise the Minimum Wage" Statement," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 4(1), pages 125-167, January.

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