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The Effects of Minimum Wages on Teenage Employment and Enrollment: Evidence from Matched CPS Surveys

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  • David Neumark
  • William Wascher

Abstract

The recent debate over minimum wages raises two questions. First, should policy makers no longer believe that minimum wages entail negative consequences for teenagers? Second, should economists discard the competitive labor market model? Our evidence for teenagers, using matched CPS surveys, suggests that the answer to both of these questions is no. We find that although increases in minimum wages have small net effects on overall teen employment rates, such increases raise the probability that more-skilled teenagers leave school and displace lower-skilled workers from their jobs. These findings are consistent with the predictions of a competitive labor market model that recognizes skill differences among workers. In addition, we find that the displaced lower-skilled workers are more likely to end up non-enrolled and non-employed. Thus, despite the small net disemployment effects for teenagers as a group, there are significant enrollment and employment shifts associated with minimum wage changes that should be of concern to policy makers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5092.

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Date of creation: Apr 1995
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Publication status: published as With Rosella Gardecki, published as "Order from Chaos? The Effects of Early Labor Market Experiences on Adult Labor Market Outcomes", Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 51, no. 2 (January 1998): 299-322.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5092

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  1. Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast Food Industry," Working Papers 678, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. David Card, 1992. "Using regional variation in wages to measure the effects of the federal minimum wage," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 22-37, October.
  3. D. McFadden & J. Hausman, 1981. "Specification Tests for the Multinominal Logit Model," Working papers 292, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1992. "Minimum Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0080, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," Working Papers 694, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. 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.
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  8. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1994. "Minimum Wage Effects and Low-Wage Labor Markets: A Disequilibrium Approach," NBER Working Papers 4617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1994. "Minimum Wage Effects on Employment and School Enrollment," NBER Working Papers 4679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1978. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 0274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Brown, Charles, 1988. "Minimum Wage Laws: Are They Overrated?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 133-45, Summer.
  12. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Alan J. Marcus, 1982. "Minimum Wages and Teenagers' Enrollment-Employment Outcomes: A Multinomial Logit Model," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 39-58.
  13. Janet Currie & Bruce C. Fallick, 1996. "The Minimum Wage and the Employment of Youth Evidence from the NLSY," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 404-428.
  14. Holzer, Harry J & Katz, Lawrence F & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Job Queues and Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 739-68, August.
  15. Finis Welch, 1993. "Matching the Current Population Surveys," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(12).
  16. Edward M. Gramlich, 1976. "Impact of Minimum Wages on Other Wages, Employment, and Family Incomes," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(2), pages 409-462.
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  19. Alan Krueger, 1994. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage When It Really Bites: A Reexamination of the Evidence from Puerto Rico," Working Papers 709, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  20. Mincer, Jacob, 1976. "Unemployment Effects of Minimum Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S87-104, August.
  21. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  22. Robert H. Meyer & David A. Wise, 1982. "The Effects of the Minimum Wage on the Employment and Earnings of Youth," NBER Working Papers 0849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. 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.
  24. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
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