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The ambiguous effect of minimum wages on hours

  • Strobl, Eric
  • Walsh, Frank

In a competitive model we ease the assumption that efficiency units of labour are the product of hours and workers. We show that a minimum wage may either increase or decrease hours per worker and the change will have the opposite sign to the slope of the equilibrium hours hourly wage locus. Similarly, total hours worked may rise or fall. We illustrate the results throughout with a Cobb-Douglas example.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 218-228

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:2:p:218-228
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Mark B. Stewart & Joanna K. Swaffield, 2008. "The Other Margin: Do Minimum Wages Cause Working Hours Adjustments for Low-Wage Workers?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(297), pages 148-167, 02.
  2. Sara Connolly & Mary Gregory, 2002. "The National Minimum Wage and Hours of Work: Implications for Low Paid Women," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(s1), pages 607-631, 08.
  3. Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast Food Industry," Working Papers 678, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Neumark, David & Wascher, William, 2007. "Minimum Wages and Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 2570, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Thomas R. Michl, 2000. "Can Rescheduling Explain the New Jersey Minimum Wage Studies?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 265-276, Summer.
  6. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, June.
  7. Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2007. "Dealing with monopsony power: Employment subsidies vs. minimum wages," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 83-89, January.
  8. Rebitzer, James B. & Taylor, Lowell J., 1995. "The consequences of minimum wage laws Some new theoretical ideas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 245-255, February.
  9. 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.
  10. Kinoshita, Tomio, 1987. "Working Hours and Hedonic Wages in the Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1262-77, December.
  11. Frank Walsh, 2003. "Comment on 'minimum wages for ronald mcdonald monopsonies: a theory of monopsonistic competition'," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 718-722, 07.
  12. De Fraja, Gianni, 1999. "Minimum Wage Legislation, Productivity and Employment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(264), pages 473-88, November.
  13. 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.
  14. Kenneth A. Couch & David C. Wittenburg, 2001. "The Response of Hours of Work to Increases in the Minimum Wage," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(1), pages 171-177, July.
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