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Teen employment, poverty, and the minimum wage: Evidence from Canada

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  • Sen, Anindya
  • Rybczynski, Kathleen
  • Van De Waal, Corey

Abstract

In May 2007, the U.S. Congress enacted legislation, which increased the Federal minimum hourly wage from $5.15 to $7.25, over a two year time period. This increase to the minimum wage was the first in nearly a decade and was approved with the objective of alleviating poverty among low-income households. However, a higher minimum wage may result in more unemployment and poverty. We exploit time-series variation in minimum wages set by Canadian provinces between 1981 and 2004. OLS and IV results suggest that a 10% increase in the minimum wage is significantly correlated with a 3%-5% drop in teen employment. Further, a 10% rise in the minimum wage is also significantly associated with a 4%-6% increase in the percentage of families living under Low Income Cut Offs (LICOs). Difference-in-difference estimates from the 1993, 1995, and 1998 waves of the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) support these findings as they suggest that income earned by teens constitutes a non-trivial portion of household income for families beneath Low Income Cut Offs. Therefore, a higher minimum wage may paradoxically result in a significant negative shock to household income among low-income families.

Suggested Citation

  • Sen, Anindya & Rybczynski, Kathleen & Van De Waal, Corey, 2011. "Teen employment, poverty, and the minimum wage: Evidence from Canada," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 36-47, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:1:p:36-47
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David A. Green, 2014. "What Is a Minimum Wage For? Empirical Results and Theories of Justice," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 40(4), pages 293-314, December.
    2. repec:eac:articl:09/15 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Muravyev, Alexander & Oshchepkov, Aleksey, 2013. "Minimum Wages, Unemployment and Informality: Evidence from Panel Data on Russian Regions," IZA Discussion Papers 7878, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. repec:cdh:commen:491 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Alexander Muravyev & Aleksey Oshchepkov, 2016. "The effect of doubling the minimum wage on employment: evidence from Russia," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-20, December.
    6. Joseph Marchand, 2017. "Thinking about Minimum Wage Increases in Alberta: Theoretically, Empirically, and Regionally," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 491, pages 1-20, September.
    7. Selin Pelek, 2015. "The Employment Effect of the Minimum Wage: An Empirical Analysis From Turkey," Ekonomi-tek - International Economics Journal, Turkish Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 49-68, January.
    8. repec:kap:jbuset:v:149:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10551-016-3091-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. David Pence Slichter, 2015. "The Employment Effects of the Minimum Wage: A Selection Ratio Approach to Measuring Treatment Effects," 2015 Papers psl76, Job Market Papers.
    10. Alexander Muravyev & Aleksey Oshchepkov, 2013. "Minimum wages and labor market outcomes: evidence from the emerging economy of Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 29/EC/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    11. repec:bla:coecpo:v:36:y:2018:i:1:p:116-135 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Marchand, J. & Smeeding, T., 2016. "Poverty and Aging," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
      • Marchand, Joseph & Smeeding, Timothy, 2016. "Poverty and Aging," Working Papers 2016-11, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 20 Nov 2016.
    13. Michele Campolieti & Morley Gunderson & Byron Lee, 2012. "The (Non) Impact of Minimum Wages on Poverty: Regression and Simulation Evidence for Canada," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 287-302, September.
    14. Kapelyuk Sergey, 2014. "Impact of minimum wage on income distribution and poverty in Russia," EERC Working Paper Series 14/03e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.

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