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The heterogeneous effects of the minimum wage on employment across states

Author

Listed:
  • Wang, Wuyi
  • Phillips, Peter C.B.
  • Su, Liangjun

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between the minimum wage and the employment rate in the US using the framework of a panel structure model. The approach allows the minimum wage, along with some other controls, to have heterogeneous effects on employment across states which are classified into a group structure. The effects on employment are the same within each group but differ across different groups. The number of groups and the group membership of each state are both unknown a priori. The approach employs the C-Lasso technique, a recently developed classification method that consistently estimates group structure and leads to oracle-efficient estimation of the coefficients. Empirical application of C-Lasso to a US restaurant industry panel over the period 1990–2006 leads to the identification of four separate groups at the state level. The findings reveal substantial heterogeneity in the impact of the minimum wage on employment across groups, with both positive and negative effects and geographical patterns manifesting in the data. The results provide some new perspectives on the prolonged debate on the impact of minimum wage on employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Wuyi & Phillips, Peter C.B. & Su, Liangjun, 2019. "The heterogeneous effects of the minimum wage on employment across states," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 179-185.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:174:y:2019:i:c:p:179-185
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2018.11.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Liangjun Su & Zhentao Shi & Peter C. B. Phillips, 2016. "Identifying Latent Structures in Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 2215-2264, November.
    2. Luojia Hu, 2002. "Estimation of a Censored Dynamic Panel Data Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2499-2517, November.
    3. 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.
    4. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
    5. Charles Brown & Curtis Gilroy & Andrew Kohen, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 0846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2101-2163 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1992. "Employment Effects of Minimum and Subminimum Wages: Panel Data on State Minimum Wage Laws," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 55-81, October.
    8. repec:wly:quante:v:8:y:2017:i:3:p:729-760 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. David H. Autor & Alan Manning & Christopher L. Smith, 2016. "The Contribution of the Minimum Wage to US Wage Inequality over Three Decades: A Reassessment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 58-99, January.
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    12. Alan B. Krueger & David Card, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1397-1420, December.
    13. 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.
    14. Neumark, David & Wascher, William, 2007. "Minimum Wages, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Employment: Evidence from the Post-Welfare Reform Era," IZA Discussion Papers 2610, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. William Wascher & David Neumark, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1362-1396, December.
    16. Arindrajit Dube & T. William Lester & Michael Reich, 2010. "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 945-964, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Classification; C-Lasso; Latent group structures; Minimum wage; Unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C38 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Classification Methdos; Cluster Analysis; Principal Components; Factor Analysis

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