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Minimum wage restrictions and employee effort in incomplete labor markets: An experimental investigation

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  • Owens, Mark F.
  • Kagel, John H.

Abstract

A minimum wage raises average wages along with modest increases in employees' average effort levels, generating a Pareto improvement in social welfare. The minimum wage reduces effort in the neighborhood of the minimum, but has no systematic effect on effort levels at higher wages. As a consequence average effort increases modestly with a minimum wage as it raises average wages. Similar results are reported within groups, both when introducing and eliminating a minimum wage, although the within group effects of introducing a minimum wage are stronger than dropping it.

Suggested Citation

  • Owens, Mark F. & Kagel, John H., 2010. "Minimum wage restrictions and employee effort in incomplete labor markets: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 317-326, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:73:y:2010:i:3:p:317-326
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David Cooper & John Lightle, 2013. "The gift of advice: communication in a bilateral gift exchange game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(4), pages 443-477, December.
    2. Kocher, Martin G. & Luhan, Wolfgang J. & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "Testing a forgotten aspect of Akerlof’s gift exchange hypothesis: Relational contracts with individual and uniform wages," Discussion Papers in Economics 12816, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Duersch, Peter & Oechssler, Jörg & Vadovic, Radovan, 2010. "Mandatory sick pay provision: A labor market experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 870-877, December.
    4. Wang, Jian & Iversen, Tor & Hennig-Schmidt, Heike & Godager, Geir, 2017. "How Changes in Payment Schemes Influence Provision Behavior," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2017:2, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
    5. Bottino, Eleonora & García-Muñoz, Teresa & Goddio, Cintia & Kujal, Praveen, 2016. "What is a fair wage? Reference points, entitlements and gift exchange," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 125-135.
    6. Riedl A.M. & Dariel A., 2013. "Reciprocal preferences and the unraveling of gift-exchange," Research Memorandum 034, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    7. Daniele Nosenzo, 2010. "The Impact of Pay Comparisons on Effort Behavior," Discussion Papers 2010-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    8. Mark Owens, 2012. "Responsibility-Alleviation and Other-Regarding Preferences with Peer Workers in Labor Markets: An Experimental Investigation," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 353-369, September.
    9. repec:bla:labour:v:31:y:2017:i:4:p:480-493 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Riley, Rebecca & Rosazza Bondibene, Chiara, 2017. "Raising the standard: Minimum wages and firm productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 27-50.
    11. Bossler, Mario & Broszeit, Sandra, 2016. "Do minimum wages increase job satisfaction? : micro data evidence from the new German minimum wage," IAB Discussion Paper 201615, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    12. Daniele Nosenzo, 2013. "Pay Secrecy And Effort Provision," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(3), pages 1779-1794, July.
    13. Wang, Xianghong, 2012. "When workers do not know – The behavioral effects of minimum wage laws revisited," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 951-962.
    14. Benndorf, Volker & Rau, Holger A., 2012. "Competition in the workplace: An experimental investigation," DICE Discussion Papers 53, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    15. Fortuna Casoria & Arno Riedl, 2013. "Experimental Labor Markets And Policy Considerations: Incomplete Contracts And Macroeconomic Aspects," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 398-420, July.
    16. Rebecca Riley & Chiara Rosazza-Bondibene, 2015. "Raising the Standard: Minimum Wages and Firm Productivity," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 449, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    17. Charness, Gary & Du, Ninghua & Yang, Chun-Lei & Yao, Lan, 2013. "Promises in contract design," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 194-208.
    18. Tetteh, Rebecca & Mohammed, Safura & Ahmed Azumah, Ayisha, 2017. "What is the effect of wages and supervision on productivity? The perspective of Sunyani Technical University staff," MPRA Paper 81473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    20. Franke, Jörg & Gurtoviy, Ruslan & Mertins, Vanessa, 2016. "Workers’ participation in wage setting: A gift-exchange experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 151-162.
    21. Martin G. Kocher & Wolfgang J. Luhan & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "Testing a forgotten aspect of Akerlof�s gift exchange hypothesis: Relational contracts with individual and uniform wages," Working Papers 2012-02, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    22. Köhler, Katrin & Pagel, Beatrice & Rau, Holger A., 2015. "How worker participation affects reciprocity under minimum remuneration policies: Experimental evidence," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 267, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    23. Mark F. Owens, 2010. "Other-Regarding Preferences with Peer Workers in Labor Markets: An Experimental Investigation," Working Papers 201008, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.

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