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An Efficiency Enhancing Minimum Wage

Author

Listed:
  • Omer Gokcekus
  • Edward Tower

Abstract

We consider an economy with a tax on all labor earnings. We discover that a slightly binding minimum wage on one sector can enhance efficiency. The minimum wage attracts high-reservation wage workers into the minimum-wage sector. If the labor demand curve in the free sector is quite flat, the vast majority of workers displaced by the minimum wage find employment in the free sector, raising aggregate employment. This displacement of workers by the only slightly binding minimum wage has negligible effects on efficiency. So efficiency and tax revenue rise as the minimum wage pulls labor out of untaxed leisure, where too much of the labor force is lurking, into taxed work.

Suggested Citation

  • Omer Gokcekus & Edward Tower, 2003. "An Efficiency Enhancing Minimum Wage," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(4), pages 247-259.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jpolrf:v:6:y:2003:i:4:p:247-259
    DOI: 10.1080/134841280140001699003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
    2. Edwards, Sebastian & Edwards, Alejandra Cox, 1991. "Monetarism and Liberalization," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226184890, April.
    3. Basch, Michael & Paredes-Molina, Ricardo D., 1996. "Are there dual labor markets in Chile?: empirical evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 297-312, August.
    4. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
    5. William Wascher & David Neumark, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1362-1396, December.
    6. Welch, Finis, 1974. "Minimum Wage Legislation in the United States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 285-318, September.
    7. Gang, Ira N & Tower, Edward, 1990. "Allocating Jobs under a Minimum Wage: Queues vs. Lotteries," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 66(194), pages 186-194, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2007. "Fertility, income and welfare in an OLG model with regulated wages," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 54(4), pages 405-427, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minimum wage; Employment; Economic efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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