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The Effect of Legislated Minimum Wage Increases on Employment and Hours: A Dynamic Analysis


  • Dale L. Belman
  • Paul Wolfson


We present a dynamic policy simulation analysing what would have happened to wages, employment, and total hours had the federal minimum wage increased in September 1998, a year after the last actual increase in our data. Prior work suggests that employment responses take 6 years to play out. Using a time-series model for 23 low-wage industries, we find a positive response of average wages over 54 months following an increase in the minimum wage, but neither employment nor hours can be distinguished from random noise. Ignoring confidence intervals, the adjustment of hours is complete after 1 year, the adjustment of employment after no more than two and one half years. Copyright 2010 CEIS, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • Dale L. Belman & Paul Wolfson, 2010. "The Effect of Legislated Minimum Wage Increases on Employment and Hours: A Dynamic Analysis," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(1), pages 1-25, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:24:y:2010:i:1:p:1-25

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    2. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
    3. Stefano DellaVigna & M. Daniele Paserman, 2005. "Job Search and Impatience," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(3), pages 527-588, July.
    4. Lalith Munasinghe & Nachum Sicherman, 2000. "Why Do Dancers Smoke? Time Preference, Occupational Choice, and Wage Growth," NBER Working Papers 7542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ekaterina Jardim & Mark C. Long & Robert Plotnick & Emma van Inwegen & Jacob Vigdor & Hilary Wething, 2017. "Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle," NBER Working Papers 23532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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