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The Rhetorical Evolution of the Minimum Wage

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  • Oren Levin-Waldman

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)

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    Abstract

    The concept of the minimum wage has undergone several rhetorical permutations. Originally conceived as a living wage, which would function as a family wage, it ultimately became a matter of macroeconomic policy, the goals of which were to achieve greater efficiency and in some cases economic development. In recent years, the rhetoric has narrowed to a debate that pits a youth disemployment effect against assisting the poor. This paper traces the rhetorical evolution of the minimum wage and shows how the rhetoric employed by various groups has been shaped by the specifics of the political and economic environment.

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    File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/mac/papers/0004/0004027.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0004027.

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    Length: 29 pages
    Date of creation: 06 Oct 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0004027

    Note: Type of Document - Adobe Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 29; figures: included
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    Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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    1. 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.
    2. Richard V. Burkhauser & T. Aldrich Finegan, 1989. "The minimum wage and the poor: The end of a relationship," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 53-71.
    3. Brown, Charles, 1988. "Minimum Wage Laws: Are They Overrated?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 133-45, Summer.
    4. George Stigler, 1958. "The Goals of Economic Policy," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31, pages 169.
    5. 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.
    6. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Institutional Changes and Rising Wage Inequality: Is There a Linkage?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 75-96, Spring.
    7. Lang, Kevin & Kahn, Shulamit, 1998. "The effect of minimum-wage laws on the distribution of employment: theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 67-82, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Levin-Waldman, Oren M., 2008. "Characteristics of cities that pass living wage ordinances: Are certain conditions more conducive than others?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2201-2213, December.

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