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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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    3. Haifa Mefteh & Mabrouka Bouhajeb & Fakher Smaoui, 2016. "Higher education, Graduate unemployment, Poverty and Economic growth in Tunisia, 1990-2013," Economic Analysis Working Papers (2002-2010). Atlantic Review of Economics (2011-2016), Colexio de Economistas de A Coruña, Spain and Fundación Una Galicia Moderna, vol. 1, pages 1-1, June.
    4. Meltem Dayioglu & Müşerref Küçükbayrak & Semih Tumen, 2022. "The impact of age-specific minimum wages on youth employment and education: a regression discontinuity analysis," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, vol. 43(6), pages 1352-1377, March.
    5. Muravyev, Alexander & Oshchepkov, Aleksey, 2013. "Minimum Wages, Unemployment and Informality: Evidence from Panel Data on Russian Regions," IZA Discussion Papers 7878, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    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. 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.
    8. Josip Lesica, 2018. "Lobbying For Minimum Wages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(4), pages 2027-2057, October.
    9. 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.
    10. Philip A. Curry & Anindya Sen & George Orlov, 2016. "Crime, apprehension and clearance rates: Panel data evidence from Canadian provinces," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 49(2), pages 481-514, May.
    11. Anindya Sen & Hideki Ariizumi, 2013. "Teen families, welfare transfers, and the minimum wage: evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 46(1), pages 338-360, February.
    12. Natalia Mishagina & Claude Montmarquette, 2018. "The Demand for Economic Policies, Beliefs, and Willingness-to-Pay: The Case of the Minimum Wage Policy in Quebec," CIRANO Project Reports 2018rp-14, CIRANO.
    13. Young Cheol Jung & Adian McFarlane & Anupam Das, 2021. "The effect of minimum wages on consumption in Canada," The Economic and Labour Relations Review, , vol. 32(1), pages 65-89, March.
    14. Dany Brouillette & Calista Cheung & Daniel Gao & Olivier Gervais, 2017. "The Impacts of Minimum Wage Increases on the Canadian Economy," Staff Analytical Notes 17-26, Bank of Canada.
    15. Gordon G. Sollars & Fred Englander, 2018. "Sweatshops: Economic Analysis and Exploitation as Unfairness," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 149(1), pages 15-29, April.
    16. Azar, Ofer H., 2012. "The effect of the minimum wage for tipped workers on firm strategy, employees and social welfare," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 748-755.
    17. David Slichter, 2023. "The employment effects of the minimum wage: A selection ratio approach to measuring treatment effects," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 38(3), pages 334-357, April.
    18. 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.
    19. Kate Rybczynski & Anindya Sen, 2018. "Employment Effects Of The Minimum Wage: Panel Data Evidence From Canadian Provinces," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 116-135, January.
    20. Marchand, J. & Smeeding, T., 2016. "Poverty and Aging," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 905-950, Elsevier.
      • Marchand, Joseph & Smeeding, Timothy, 2016. "Poverty and Aging," Working Papers 2016-11, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 20 Nov 2016.
    21. Backhaus, Teresa & Müller, Kai-Uwe, 2019. "Does the German minimum wage benefit low income households?," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203585, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    22. Jeff Chan, 2019. "Labour market characteristics and surviving import shocks," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(5), pages 1288-1315, May.
    23. 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.
    24. Teresa Backhaus & Kai-Uwe Müller, 2019. "Does the German Minimum Wage Help Low Income Households?: Evidence from Observed Outcomes and the Simulation of Potential Effects," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1805, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    25. 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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