IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Turning a Blind Eye: Costly Enforcement, Credible Commitment and Minimum Wage Laws

  • ArnabK. Basu
  • NancyH. Chau
  • Ravi Kanbur

In many countries, non-compliance with minimum wage legislation is widespread and authorities may be seen as having turned a blind eye to legislation they have themselves passed. We show that turning a blind eye can indeed be an equilibrium phenomenon with "ex post" credibility, in a model of minimum wage policy with imperfect competition, imperfect enforcement and imperfect commitment. Since credible enforcement requires costly "ex post" transfer of income from employers to workers, a government concerned only with efficiency but not with distribution is shown, paradoxically, to be unable to credibly elicit efficiency improvements via a minimum wage reform. Copyright © The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2009.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2009.02298.x
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 120 (2010)
Issue (Month): 543 (03)
Pages: 244-269

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:543:p:244-269
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Office of the Secretary-General, Rm E35, The Bute Building, Westburn Lane, St Andrews, KY16 9TS, UK

Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page: http://www.res.org.uk/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.blackwellpublishers.co.uk/asp/journal.asp?ref=0013-0133

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Sara Lemos, 2006. "Minimum Wage Effects in a Developing Country," Discussion Papers in Economics 06/1, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  2. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415.
  3. Bhaskar, V & To, Ted, 1999. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 190-203, April.
  4. Fershtman, C. & Fishman, A., 1991. "The "Perverse" Effects of Wage and Price Controls in Search Markets," Papers 11-91, Tel Aviv.
  5. John R. Lott Jr. & Russell D. Roberts, 1995. "The Expected Penalty for Committing a Crime: An Analysis of Minimum Wage Violations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 397-408.
  6. James Heckman & Carmen Pages, 2003. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Working Papers 10129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Flanagan, Robert J, 1989. "Compliance and Enforcement Decisions under the National Labor Relations Act," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(3), pages 257-80, July.
  8. Basu, Arnab K. & Chau, Nancy H. & Kanbur, Ravi, 2009. "A theory of employment guarantees: Contestability, credibility and distributional concerns," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 482-497, April.
  9. Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2003. "Minimum Wages and Compliance: The Case of Trinidad and Tobago," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 427-50, January.
  10. Maloney, William F. & Nunez, Jairo & Cunningham, Wendy & Fiess, Norbert & Montenegro, Claudio & Murrugarra, Edmundo & Santamaria,Mauricio & Sepulveda, Claudia, 2001. "Measuring the impact of minimum wages : evidence from Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2597, The World Bank.
  11. Harrison, Ann & Scorse, Jason, 2003. "Globalization's impact on compliance with labor standards," MPRA Paper 36450, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Peter Sanfey, 1992. "Wages, Profits and Rent-Sharing," NBER Working Papers 4222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. T.H. Gindling & Katherine Terrell, 2004. "Legal Minimum Wages and the Wages of Formal and Informal Sector Workers in Costa Rica," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-647, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  14. David Neumark & Mark Schweitzer & William Wascher, 2000. "The Effects of Minimum Wages Throughout the Wage Distribution," NBER Working Papers 7519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Russell S. Sobel, 1999. "Theory and Evidence on the Political Economy of the Minimum Wage," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 761-785, August.
  16. Chang, Yang-Ming & Ehrlich, Isaac, 1985. "On the Economics of Compliance with the Minimum Wage Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 84-91, February.
  17. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  18. Portugal, Pedro & Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2002. "Disentangling the Minimum Wage Puzzle: An Analysis of Worker Accessions and Separations," IZA Discussion Papers 544, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2008. "Minimum Wages, Globalization, and Poverty in Honduras," Working Paper Series RP2008/23, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  20. Neumark, David & Wascher, William, 2007. "Minimum Wages and Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 2570, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Alan Manning & Ted To, 2002. "Oligopsony and Monopsonistic Competition in Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 155-174, Spring.
  22. Grenier, Gilles, 1982. "On Compliance with the Minimum Wage Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 184-87, February.
  23. Alan Manning, 2010. "Imperfect competition in the labour market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28729, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  24. Yaniv, Gideon, 2001. "Minimum Wage Noncompliance and the Employment Decision," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 596-603, July.
  25. Sara lemos, 2004. "The Effects of the Minimum Wage in the Formal and Informal Sectors in Brazil," Discussion Papers in Economics 04/8, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  26. T. H. Gindling & Katherine Terrell, 2004. "Legal Minimum Wages and the Wages of Formal and Informal Sector Workers in Costa Rica," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 04-102, UMBC Department of Economics.
  27. Freeman, Richard B, 1996. "The Minimum Wage as a Redistributive Tool," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 639-49, May.
  28. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning & Lupin Rahman, 2003. "Where the Minimum Wage Bites Hard: Introduction of Minimum Wages to a Low Wage Sector," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 154-180, 03.
  29. Walter Y. Oi & Todd L. Idson, 1999. "Workers Are More Productive in Large Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 104-108, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:543:p:244-269. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.