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The Response of Hours of Work to Increases in the Minimum Wage


  • Kenneth A. Couch

    () (Department of Economics, University of Connecticut)

  • David C. Wittenburg

    () (Research Associate, The Urban Institute)


This paper examines the effect of minimum wage increases on the hours of work of teenagers (ages 16 to 19) using monthly data from the Current Population Survey. Our findings are consistent with the prediction from neoclassical theory that minimum wage increases have a negative effect on labor demand. However, the estimates we provide here for the elasticity of hours of teen labor demanded with respect to the minimum wage suggest that alternative estimates based on aggregate employment consistently understate the total impact of minimum wage increases on teenage labor utilization.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:68:1:y:2001:p:171-177

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," NBER Working Papers 12663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Seltzer, Andrew & Borland, Jeff, 2016. "The Impact of the 1896 Factory and Shops Act on Victorian Labour Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 10388, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2008. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Immigrants' Employment and Earnings," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(4), pages 544-563, July.
    4. Bossler, Mario & Gerner, Hans-Dieter, 2016. "Employment effects of the new German minimum wage: Evidence from establishment-level micro data," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145926, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Yoshio Higuchi, 2013. "The Dynamics of Poverty and the Promotion of Transition from Non-Regular to Regular Employment in Japan: Economic Effects of Minimum Wage Revision and Job Training Support," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 147-200, June.
    6. Richard V. Burkhauser & Joseph J. Sabia, 2007. "The Effectiveness Of Minimum-Wage Increases In Reducing Poverty: Past, Present, And Future," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(2), pages 262-281, April.
    7. 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.
    8. Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2007. "Dealing with monopsony power: Employment subsidies vs. minimum wages," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 83-89, January.
    9. Charlene M. Kalenkoski & Donald J. Lacombe, 2013. "Minimum wages and teen employment: A spatial panel approach," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(2), pages 407-417, June.
    10. John Pencavel, 2016. "Whose Preferences Are Revealed In Hours Of Work?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(1), pages 9-24, January.
    11. Wenkai Sun & Xianghong Wang & Xiaoxi Zhang, 2015. "Minimum wage effects on employment and working time of Chinese workers——evidence based on CHNS," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-22, December.
    12. Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2011. "The ambiguous effect of minimum wages on hours," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 218-228, April.
    13. Roy E. Bailey & Timothy J. Hatton & Kris Inwood, 2016. "Atmospheric Pollution and Child Health in Late Nineteenth Century Britain," CEH Discussion Papers 052, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    14. STROBL, Eric & WALSH, Frank, 2004. "The impact of minimum wages on hours and employment revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 2004023, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    15. Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2002. "Getting It Right: Employment Subsidy or Minimum Wage?," IZA Discussion Papers 662, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Joseph Sabia, 2009. "The Effects of Minimum Wage Increases on Retail Employment and Hours: New Evidence from Monthly CPS Data," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 75-97, March.
    17. 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.
    18. Daniel Cardona & Fernando Sanchez Losada, 2003. "Union Power, Minimum Wage Legislation, Endogenous Labor Supplies and Production," Working Papers in Economics 105, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    19. STROBL, Eric & WALSH, Frank, 2003. "Dealing with monopsony power: the case for using employment subsidies," CORE Discussion Papers 2003079, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    20. Bossler, Mario & Gerner, Hans-Dieter, 2016. "Employment effects of the new German minimum wage : evidence from establishment-level micro data," IAB Discussion Paper 201610, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    21. Joseph J. Sabia, 2008. "Minimum wages and the economic well-being of single mothers," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 848-866.

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