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Minimum Wages and Employment: Reconsidering the Use of a Time-Series Approach as an Evaluation Tool

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  • Lee, Wang-Sheng

    ()
    (Deakin University)

  • Suardi, Sandy

    ()
    (La Trobe University)

Abstract

The time-series approach used in the minimum wage literature essentially aims to estimate a treatment effect of increasing the minimum wage. In this paper, we employ a novel approach based on aggregate time-series data that allows us to determine if minimum wage changes have significant effects on employment. This involves the use of tests for structural breaks as a device for identifying discontinuities in the data which potentially represent treatment effects. In an application based on Australian data, the tentative conclusion is that the introduction of minimum wage legislation in Australia in 1997 and subsequent minimum wage increases appear not to have had any significant negative employment effects for teenagers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4748.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: British Journal of Industrial Relations, 2011, 49, s376 - s401
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4748

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Keywords: teenage employment; structural break; minimum wage;

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References

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  1. Andrew Leigh, 2007. "Does Raising the Minimum Wage Help the Poor?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(263), pages 432-445, December.
  2. D. W. K. Andrews, 2003. "End-of-Sample Instability Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1661-1694, November.
  3. Bazen, Stephen & Marimoutou, Velayoudom, 2002. " Looking for a Needle in a Haystack? A Re-examination of the Time Series Relationship between Teenage Employment and Minimum Wages in the United States," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(0), pages 699-725, Supplemen.
  4. Anne Morrison Piehl & Suzanne J. Cooper & Anthony A. Braga & David M. Kennedy, 2003. "Testing for Structural Breaks in the Evaluation of Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 550-558, August.
  5. Jaehwan Park & Ronald Ratti, 1998. "Stationary data and the effect of the minimum wage on teenage employment," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 435-440.
  6. Ian Watson, 2004. "Minimum Wages and Employment: Comment," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 37(2), pages 166-172, 06.
  7. Zivot, Eric & Andrews, Donald W K, 1992. "Further Evidence on the Great Crash, the Oil-Price Shock, and the Unit-Root Hypothesis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 251-70, July.
  8. Neumark, David & Wascher, William L., 2007. "Minimum Wages and Employment," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 3(1–2), pages 1-182, March.
  9. Hristos Doucouliagos & T. D. Stanley, 2009. "Publication Selection Bias in Minimum-Wage Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(2), pages 406-428, 06.
  10. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Peter Fredriksson & Per Johansson, 2003. "Program Evaluation and Random Program Starts," CESifo Working Paper Series 844, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Bai, Jushan, 1997. "Estimating Multiple Breaks One at a Time," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 315-352, June.
  13. Harding, Don & Harding, Glenys, 2004. "Minimum wages in Australia: an analysis of the impact on small and medium sized businesses," MPRA Paper 25, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Andrew Leigh, 2003. "Employment Effects of Minimum Wages: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 36(4), pages 361-373.
  15. Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  16. Alison J. Wellington, 1991. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on the Employment Status of Youths: An Update," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 27-46.
  17. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Earnings and Employment Effects of Continuous Off-the-Job Training in East Germany after Unification," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 74-90, January.
  18. 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.
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