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The Effect of New Jersey's Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-Food Employment: A Re-Evaluation Using Payroll Records

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  • David Neumark
  • William Wascher

Abstract

We re-evaluate the evidence from Card and Krueger's (1994) New Jersey-Pennsylvania minimum wage experiment, using new data based on actual payroll records from 230 Burger King, KFC, Wendy's, and Roy Rogers restaurants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We compare results using these payroll data to those using CK's data, which were collected by telephone surveys. We have two findings to report. First, the data collected by CK appear to indicate greater employment variation over the eight-month period between their surveys than do the payroll data. For example, in the full sample the standard deviation of employment change in CK's data is three times as large as that in the payroll data. Second, estimates of the employment effect of the New Jersey minimum wage increase from the payroll data lead to the opposite conclusion from that reached by CK. For comparable sets of restaurants, differences-in-differences estimates using CK's data imply that the New Jersey minimum wage increase (of 18.8 percent) resulted in an employment increase of 17.6 percent relative to the Pennsylvania control group, an elasticity of 0.93. In contrast, estimates based on the payroll data suggest that the New Jersey minimum wage increase led to a 4.6 percent decrease in employment in New Jersey relative to the Pennsylvania control group. This decrease is statistically significant at the five-percent level and implies an elasticity of employment with respect to the minimum wage of -0.24.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5224.

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Date of creation: Aug 1995
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Publication status: published as David Neumark, William Wascher. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment" American Economic Review, 2000, vol. 90, issue 5, pages 1362-1396
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5224

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  1. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1992. "Employment effects of minimum and subminimum wages: Panel data on state minimum wage laws," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 55-81, October.
  2. 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..
  3. 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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Cited by:
  1. Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "Single Peaked Vs. Diversified Capitalism: The Relation Between Economic Institutions and Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mart¤ćn Rama, 2001. "The Consequences of doubling the minimum wage: The case of Indonesia," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 864-881, July.
  3. Thomas R. Michl, 1999. "Can Rescheduling Explain the New Jersey Minimum Wage Studies?," Macroeconomics 9908001, EconWPA.
  4. Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2007. "Does the Minimum Wage Cause Inefficient Rationing?," Working Paper Series rwp07-018, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  5. Daniel Fairchild, 2004. "Does the minimum wage help the poor?," Forum for Social Economics, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 31-42, September.
  6. Orazem, Peter & Mattila, J. Peter, 2002. "Minimum Wage Effects on Hours, Employment and Number of Firms: The Iowa Case," Staff General Research Papers 4053, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L. & Cotti, Chad, 2008. "New Estimates of the Effects of Minimum Wages in the U.S. Retail Trade Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 3597, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. David Holland & Sanjoy Bhattacharjee & Leroy Stodick, 2006. "Assessing the Economic Impact of Minimum Wage Increases on the Washington Economy: A General Equilibrium Approach," Working Papers 2006-12, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
  9. Bhaskar, V & To, Ted, 1999. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 190-203, April.
  10. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L. & Cotti, Chad, 2008. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Wages and Employment: County-Level Estimates for the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Don Bellante & Gabriel Picone, 1999. "Fast food and unnatural experiments: Another perspective on the New Jersey minimum wage," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 463-477, December.
  12. Alan B. Krueger & David Card, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1397-1420, December.
  13. M. Perlman & K. Couch & K. Laski & G. Tillmann & T. Asada & D. Hands, 1995. "Book reviews," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 62(1), pages 93-109, February.

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