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The ambiguous effect of minimum wages on hours

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  • Strobl, Eric
  • Walsh, Frank

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2011. "The ambiguous effect of minimum wages on hours," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 218-228, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:2:p:218-228
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, July.
    2. 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..
    3. Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast-Food Industry," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 6-21, October.
    4. M. S. Feldstein, 1967. "Specification of the Labour Input in the Aggregate Production Function," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(4), pages 375-386.
    5. Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2007. "Dealing with monopsony power: Employment subsidies vs. minimum wages," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 83-89, January.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Neumark, David & Wascher, William L., 2007. "Minimum Wages and Employment," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 3(1–2), pages 1-182, March.
    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. 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.
    11. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, January.
    12. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1993. "Labor Demand and the Source of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 4394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Kinoshita, Tomio, 1987. "Working Hours and Hedonic Wages in the Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1262-1277, December.
    14. 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, February.
    15. De Fraja, Gianni, 1999. "Minimum Wage Legislation, Productivity and Employment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(264), pages 473-488, November.
    16. 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, August.
    17. 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.
    18. repec:fth:prinin:298 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Eliane El Badaoui & Eric Strobl & Frank Walsh, 2014. "The Impact of Internal Migration on Local Labour Markets in Thailand," Working Papers 2014-71, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    3. Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2016. "Monopsony, minimum wages and migration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 221-237.
    4. Eliav Danziger & Leif Danziger, 2015. "A Pareto-improving Minimum Wage," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(326), pages 236-252, April.
    5. 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.
    6. 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).
    7. repec:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:135-157 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Danziger, Eliav & Danziger, Leif, 2018. "The Optimal Graduated Minimum Wage and Social Welfare," GLO Discussion Paper Series 188, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    9. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-071 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Anna Baranowska-Rataj & Iga Magda, 2015. "The impact of the minimum wage on job separations and working hours among young people in Poland," Working Papers 75, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    11. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-069 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minimum wages Hours Employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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