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The Economics and Ethics of Minimum Wage Legislation

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  • Robert Prasch
  • Falguni Sheth

Abstract

Recent empirical studies have led the economics profession to question the proposition that minimum wage legislation necessarily leads to greater unemployment. This paper extends the analysis of these studies by providing several theoretical reasons why these empirical results may reflect a larger truth. Moreover, it addresses a relatively neglected aspect of the minimum wage debate - its ethical dimensions. Specifically, do the elementary principles of economic justice mandate that employees who “play by the rules”, should earn a “living wage”? This paper argues that the minimum wage is a successful economic policy that is consistent with economic justice.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Prasch & Falguni Sheth, 1999. "The Economics and Ethics of Minimum Wage Legislation," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 57(4), pages 466-487.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:57:y:1999:i:4:p:466-487
    DOI: 10.1080/00346769900000017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Davidson, 1994. "Post Keynesian Macroeconomic Theory," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 124.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Finn, 2003. "The moral ecology of markets: on the failure of the amoral defense of markets," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 61(2), pages 135-162.
    2. Fairris, David & Popli, Gurleen & Zepeda, Eduardo, 2006. "Minimum wages and wage structure in Mexico," MPRA Paper 400, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2006.

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