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Effects of the Minimum Wage on the Employment Status of Youths: An Update


  • Alison J. Wellington


The large decline in the relative value of the minimum wage during the 1980s makes that period a valuable one for identifying the impact of variation in the minimum wage on youth employment. This study produces the robust finding that, when the experience of the 1980s is included, a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage is estimated to reduce teen employment by less than 1 percent-the lower end of the range of previous estimates. Because this small employment effect is offset by a labor force withdrawal effect, the study finds no discernible effect on measured unemployment. The study also finds no apparent effect of the minimum wage on the employment of young adults aged 20-24.

Suggested Citation

  • Alison J. Wellington, 1991. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on the Employment Status of Youths: An Update," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 27-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:26:y:1991:i:1:p:27-46

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Davidson, Carl & Woodbury, Stephen A, 1993. "The Displacement Effect of Reemployment Bonus Programs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 575-605, October.
    2. Woodbury, Stephen A & Spiegelman, Robert G, 1987. "Bonuses to Workers and Employers to Reduce Unemployment: Randomized Trials in Illinois," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 513-530, September.
    3. Paul T. Decker & Christopher J. L'Leary, 1995. "Evaluating Pooled Evidence from the Reemployment Bonus Experiments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 534-550.
    4. Christopher J. O'Leary & Robert G. Spiegelman & Kenneth J. Kline, 1995. "Do bonus offers shorten unemployment insurance spells? results from the washington experiment," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 245-269.
    5. Walter Corson & Paul T. Decker & Shari Miller Dunstan & Anne R. Gordon, "undated". "The New Jersey Unemployment Insurance Reemployment Demonstration Project: Final Evaluation Report," Mathematica Policy Research Reports a1188b0b75ad4085ab98457be, Mathematica Policy Research.
    6. repec:mpr:mprres:1978 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:mpr:mprres:3003 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Robert B. Olsen & Marisa Kelso & Paul T. Decker & Daniel H. Klepinger, 2002. "Predicting the Exhaustion of Unemployment Compensation," Mathematica Policy Research Reports d0a9027f813a4bc397fce1190, Mathematica Policy Research.
    9. Bruce D. Meyer, 1995. "Lessons from the U.S. Unemployment Insurance Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 91-131, March.
    10. repec:mpr:mprres:856 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Paul T. Decker, "undated". "Work Incentives and Disincentives," Mathematica Policy Research Reports e09c4ee64359405c8a52e13c4, Mathematica Policy Research.
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