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The National Minimum Wage: Coverage, Impact and Future


  • David Metcalf


Since its establishment in 1997, the Low Pay Commission (LPC) - whose main task is to recommend the rate for the national minimum wage (NMW) to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry - has operated in a very open manner. Commissioners and the (small) secretariat have visited all the corners of the UK and hundreds of workplaces. Large volumes of written evidence and much oral evidence inform successive reports ( LPC, 1998, 2000, 2001a,b, 2003). The LPC also values and nurtures its links with the academic community, many of whom have undertaken research for the LPC which has greatly contributed to the debate on the merits or otherwise of the NMW. In addition the LPC have periodically held conferences where the latest research on low pay and the NMW is discussed and evaluated. Some of the papers in this volume were originally presented at just such a conference hosted by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics (LSE) on 28 September 2001 and organized (beautifully) by Joanna Swaffield of York University. In what follows the conference papers, those published in this volume, and related research are put into context. Section I deals with the thorny matter of coverage and data. The impact of the NMW on the pay distribution, employment and incomes is set out in section II. Some thoughts on the future of the NMW follow in section III. Copyright 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • David Metcalf, 2002. "The National Minimum Wage: Coverage, Impact and Future," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(s1), pages 567-582, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:64:y:2002:i:s1:p:567-582

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    Cited by:

    1. Brian Bell & Stephen Machin, 2018. "Minimum Wages and Firm Value," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 159-195.
    2. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Minimum Wages and Firm Profitability," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 129-151, January.
    3. Joanna K. Swaffield, 2014. "Minimum Wage Hikes And The Wage Growth Of Low-Wage Workers," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 384-405, October.

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