Do Minimum Wage Laws Affect People Who Are Not Covered? Evidence from Documented and Undocumented, Hourly and Piece Rate Workers in U.S. Agriculture
AbstractWhile a stated goal of minimum wage increases is to benefit low-income workers, some employers are not obligated to provide at least minimum wages to all employees. U.S. farm employers comprise one of these groups. Employees of large farms and H2-A workers (temporary nonimmigrant workers lawfully admitted to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural services) are protected by minimum wage legislation, while other migrant workers (especially those who are paid piece rate) are exempt. Furthermore, U.S. agriculture is characterized by a large percentage of illegal migrants, and workers who are illegal may or may not receive wages above minimum levels. This paper presents a case study, drawing from agriculture, that examines if and how minimum wage laws affect uncovered workers. Analysis examines wages and hours worked as functions of federal and state minimum wages using data from a nationally and regionally representative survey of employed farm workers. Results suggest wage increases for both covered and uncovered workers, greatest gains to those who are formally covered, and gains not being at the expense of hours worked.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number 13-194.
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
minimum wage exemptions; poverty; agriculture;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
- Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2013-05-22 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2013-05-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-IUE-2013-05-22 (Informal & Underground Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2013-05-22 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LMA-2013-05-22 (Labor Markets - Supply, Demand, & Wages)
- NEP-MIG-2013-05-22 (Economics of Human Migration)
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