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Some deadweight losses from the minimum wage: the cases of full and partial compliance

  • Palda, Filip

This paper highlights the social costs from non-price rationing of the labour force due to the minimum wage. By short-circuiting the ability of low reservation-wage workers to underbid high-reservation wage workers, the minimum wage interferes with the market's basic function of grouping the lowest cost workers with the highest productivity firms. The present paper models the deadweight loss that society bears when high reservation-cost workers displace low reservation-cost workers. When firms can evade part or all of the minimum wage, an extra deadweight loss arises. Firms with high evasive ability but low productivity may displace firms with low evasive ability but high productivity.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 7 (2000)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 751-783

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:7:y:2000:i:6:p:751-783
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  1. Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast Food Industry," NBER Working Papers 3997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  3. Chang, Yang-Ming & Ehrlich, Isaac, 1985. "On the Economics of Compliance with the Minimum Wage Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 84-91, February.
  4. Rauch, James E., 1991. "Modelling the informal sector formally," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 33-47, January.
  5. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1992. "Employment effects of minimum and subminimum wages: Panel data on state minimum wage laws," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 55-81, October.
  6. Ashenfelter, Orley & Smith, Robert S, 1979. "Compliance with the Minimum Wage Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 333-50, April.
  7. Kim, Jae-Cheol & Yoo, Byung-Kook, 1989. "Partial Compliance with the Minimum Wage Law," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 197-206, July.
  8. Fortin, Bernard & Marceau, Nicolas & Savard, Luc, 1997. "Taxation, wage controls and the informal sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 293-312, November.
  9. Grenier, Gilles, 1982. "On Compliance with the Minimum Wage Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 184-87, February.
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