IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bpj/bejeap/v7y2007i1n49.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does the Minimum Wage Cause Inefficient Rationing?

Author

Listed:
  • Luttmer Erzo F.P.

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

By not allowing wages to clear the labor market, the minimum wage could cause workers with low reservation wages to be rationed out while equally skilled workers with higher reservation wages are employed. This paper exploits overlapping CPS panels to more precisely identify those most affected by the minimum wage, a group I refer to as the "unskilled." I test for inefficient rationing by examining whether the reservation wages of employed unskilled workers in states where the 1990-1991 federal minimum wage increase had the largest impact rose relative to reservation wages of unskilled workers in other states. I find that proxies for reservation wages of unskilled workers in high-impact states did not rise relative to reservation wages in other states, suggesting that the increase in the minimum wage did not cause jobs to be allocated less efficiently. However, even if rationing is efficient, the minimum wage can still entail other efficiency costs (e.g., from employment reductions).

Suggested Citation

  • Luttmer Erzo F.P., 2007. "Does the Minimum Wage Cause Inefficient Rationing?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-42, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:7:y:2007:i:1:n:49
    DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.1768
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.2202/1935-1682.1768
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.2202/1935-1682.1768?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast Food Industry," Working Papers 678, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. Barzel, Yoram, 1974. "A Theory of Rationing by Waiting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 73-95, April.
    3. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux & David N. Margolis, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Youth Employment in France and the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 427-472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
    5. Palda, Filip, 2000. "Some deadweight losses from the minimum wage: the cases of full and partial compliance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 751-783, November.
    6. Kiefer, Nicholas M & Neumann, George R, 1979. "An Empirical Job-Search Model, with a Test of the Constant Reservation-Wage Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 89-107, February.
    7. Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast-Food Industry," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 6-21, October.
    8. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, December.
    9. Feldstein, Martin & Poterba, James, 1984. "Unemployment insurance and reservation wages," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 141-167.
    10. Jones, Stephen R G, 1989. "Reservation Wages and the Cost of Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(222), pages 225-246, May.
    11. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1998. "Minimum Wages and Employment in France and the United States," Papiers du Laboratoire de Microéconomie Appliquée 1998-12, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    12. Brown, Charles, 1999. "Minimum wages, employment, and the distribution of income," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 32, pages 2101-2163, Elsevier.
    13. David Card, 1992. "Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 22-37, October.
    14. Edward L. Glaeser & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2003. "The Misallocation of Housing Under Rent Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1027-1046, September.
    15. Linneman, Peter, 1982. "The Economic Impacts of Minimum Wage Laws: A New Look at an Old Question," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 443-469, June.
    16. 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.
    17. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 1993. "Employment effects of minimum and subminimum wages: reply to Card, Katz, and Krueger," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 144, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    18. Neumark, David & Wascher, William L., 2007. "Minimum Wages and Employment," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 3(1–2), pages 1-182, March.
    19. David Card, 1992. "Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage," Working Papers 680, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    20. Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Reservation Wages and Their Labor Market Effects for Black and White Male Youth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(2), pages 157-177.
    21. Richard V. Burkhauser & Kenneth A. Couch & David C. Wittenburg, 2000. "Who Minimum Wage Increases Bite: An Analysis Using Monthly Data from the SIPP and the CPS," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 67(1), pages 16-40, July.
    22. Brigitte C. Madrian & Lars John Lefgren, 1999. "A Note on Longitudinally Matching Current Population Survey (CPS) Respondents," NBER Technical Working Papers 0247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1995. "The Effect of New Jersey's Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-Food Employment: A Re-Evaluation Using Payroll Records," NBER Working Papers 5224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Davis, Lucas W & Kilian, Lutz, 2007. "The Allocative Cost of Price Ceilings: Lessons to be Learned from the US Residential Market for Natural Gas," CEPR Discussion Papers 6142, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    25. Suen, Wing, 1989. "Rationing and Rent Dissipation in the Presence of Heterogeneous Individuals," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1384-1394, December.
    26. Bell, David N.F. & Blanchflower, David G., 2011. "Youth Unemployment in Europe and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 5673, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    27. Deacon, Robert T & Sonstelie, Jon, 1989. "The Welfare Costs of Rationing by Waiting," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(2), pages 179-196, April.
    28. repec:fth:prinin:300 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. Harry J. Holzer & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "Job Queues and Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 739-768.
    30. H. E. Frech III & William C. Lee, 1987. "The Welfare Cost of Rationing-By-Queuing Across Markets: Theory and Estimates from the U. S. Gasoline Crises," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 97-108.
    31. repec:fth:prinin:298 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. John Bennett & Ioana Chioveanu, 2017. "The optimal minimum wage with regulatory uncertainty," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 19(6), pages 1099-1116, December.
    2. Aart Gerritsen & Bas Jacobs, 2020. "Is a Minimum Wage an Appropriate Instrument for Redistribution?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 87(347), pages 611-637, July.
    3. Jeffrey Clemens & Lisa B. Kahn & Jonathan Meer, 2021. "Dropouts Need Not Apply? The Minimum Wage and Skill Upgrading," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(S1), pages 107-149.
    4. Andersson, Tommy & Yang, Zaifu & Zhang, Dongmo, 2015. "How to efficiently allocate houses under price controls?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 97-99.
    5. John A. Nyman, 2012. "Productivity Costs Revisited: Toward A New Us Policy," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(12), pages 1387-1401, December.
    6. Lee, David & Saez, Emmanuel, 2012. "Optimal minimum wage policy in competitive labor markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 739-749.
    7. Aart Gerritsen, 2016. "Equity and Efficiency in Rationed Labor Markets," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2016-04, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    8. Lucas W. Davis & Lutz Kilian, 2011. "The Allocative Cost of Price Ceilings in the U.S. Residential Market for Natural Gas," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(2), pages 212-241.
    9. Bulow, Jeremy I. & Klemperer, Paul, 2009. "Price Controls and Consumer Surplus," CEPR Discussion Papers 7412, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Lavecchia, Adam M., 2020. "Minimum wage policy with optimal taxes and unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    11. Tomer Blumkin & Leif Danziger, 2018. "Deserving poor and the desirability of a minimum wage," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 7(1), pages 1-17, December.
    12. Simon, Andrew & Wilson, Matthew, 2021. "Optimal minimum wage setting in a federal system," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    13. Ren, Yanjun & Peng, Yanling & Campos, Bente Castro & Li, Houjian, 2021. "Higher minimum wage, better labour market returns for rural migrants? Evidence from China," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1814-1835.
    14. repec:pri:cepsud:178lee is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Tomer Blumkin & Leif Danziger, 2014. "Deserving Poor and the Desirability of Minimum Wage Rules," CESifo Working Paper Series 4721, CESifo.
    16. Kwapisz Agnieszka, 2020. "Minimum Wages and Nascent Entrepreneurship in the US," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 1-15, January.
    17. George L. Wehby & Dhaval M. Dave & Robert Kaestner, 2020. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Infant Health," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(2), pages 411-443, March.
    18. David S. Lee & Emmanuel Saez, 2008. "Optimal Minimum Wage Policy in Competitive Labor Markets," Working Papers 1105, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    19. Blumkin, Tomer & Danziger, Leif, 2014. "Deserving Poor and the Desirability of a Minimum Wage," IZA Discussion Papers 8418, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 2012. "Regulated Prices, Rent Seeking, and Consumer Surplus," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(1), pages 160-186.
    21. Gerritsen, Aart, 2017. "Equity and efficiency in rationed labor markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 56-68.
    22. Aart Gerritsen, 2016. "How Many Harberger Triangles Does it Take to Fill one Okun Gap?," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2016-05, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    23. Lee, David & Saez, Emmanuel, 2012. "Optimal minimum wage policy in competitive labor markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 739-749.
    24. Elena Andreyeva & Benjamin Ukert, 2018. "The impact of the minimum wage on health," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 337-375, December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," NBER Working Papers 12663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. David Neumark & Peter Shirley, 2021. "Myth or Measurement: What Does the New Minimum Wage Research Say about Minimum Wages and Job Loss in the United States?," NBER Working Papers 28388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Sara Lemos, 2004. "A Menu of Minimum Wage Variables for Evaluating Wages and Employment Effects: Evidence from Brazil," Discussion Papers in Economics 04/3, Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester.
    5. Haroon Bhorat & Tara Caetano & Benjamin Jourdan & Ravi Kanbur & Christopher Rooney & Benjamin Stanwix & Ingrid Woolard, 2016. "Investigating the Feasibility of a National Minimum Wage for South Africa," Working Papers 201601, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    6. Larsen, Andrew Mikael, 2004. "Effects of a minimum wage increase on the employment of disabled persons," ISU General Staff Papers 2004010108000017651, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2007. "The minimum wage and Latino workers," Working Papers 0708, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    8. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2008. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Immigrants' Employment and Earnings," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(4), pages 544-563, July.
    9. János Köllö, 2010. "Hungary: The Consequences of Doubling the Minimum Wage," Chapters, in: Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead (ed.), The Minimum Wage Revisited in the Enlarged EU, chapter 8, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2101-2163 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Clemens, Jeffrey & Wither, Michael, 2019. "The minimum wage and the Great Recession: Evidence of effects on the employment and income trajectories of low-skilled workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 53-67.
    12. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L. & Cotti, Chad D., 2013. "Minimum wage increases in a recessionary environment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 30-39.
    13. Holmlund, Bertil, 2014. "What do labor market institutions do?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 62-69.
    14. Marianne E. Page & Joanne Spetz & Jane Millar, 2005. "Does the minimum wage affect welfare caseloads?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 273-295.
    15. Christian Ragacs, 2003. "Mindestlöhne und Beschäftigung: Ein Überblick über die neuere empirische Literatur," Working Papers geewp25, Vienna University of Economics and Business Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness.
    16. Gabor Kertesi & Janos Kollo, 2003. "The Employment Effects of Nearly Doubling the Minimum Wage - The Case of Hungary," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 0306, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    17. Joseph J. Sabia & Richard V. Burkhauser & Benjamin Hansen, 2012. "Are the Effects of Minimum Wage Increases Always Small? New Evidence from a Case Study of New York State," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(2), pages 350-376, April.
    18. Laura Giuliano, 2013. "Minimum Wage Effects on Employment, Substitution, and the Teenage Labor Supply: Evidence from Personnel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 155-194.
    19. Laura Giuliano, 2007. "Minimum wage effects on employment, substitution, and the quality of the teenage labor supply: Evidence from personal data," Working Papers 0723, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    20. Kosali Ilayperuma Simon & Robert Kaestner, 2003. "Do Minimum Wages Affect Non-wage Job Attributes? Evidence on Fringe Benefits and Working Conditions," NBER Working Papers 9688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Ahmad Jafari Samimi, 2011. "Minimum Wage and Youth Employment The Case Study of Iran's Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Education and Vocational Research, AMH International, vol. 1(2), pages 38-43.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:7:y:2007:i:1:n:49. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.degruyter.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Peter Golla (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.degruyter.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.