The Effect of Minimum Wage Legislation on Income Equality: A TheoreticalAnalysis
AbstractMinimum wage legislation is frequently advocated in the belief that itcreates a more nearly equal distribution of income. A one-sector model of general equilibrium is used to analyze a universally applicable minimum wage, and a two-sector model is used to analyze a minimum wage that is only applied to certain industries. In both cases we find that a minimum wage may well lower equality (as computed by the Gini index) if we consider reasonable values for the parameters of these two models. In the absence of unemployment compensation, equality can increase only if the elasticity of substitution in production is quite low. In the one-sector case, however, equality necessarily rises if unemployment compensation is present and sufficiently generous.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0171.
Date of creation: Mar 1977
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