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The Effects of Minimum Wages on the Distribution of Family Incomes: A Nonparametric Analysis

  • David Neumark
  • Mark Schweitzer
  • William Wascher

An oft-stated goal of the minimum wage is to raise incomes of poor or low-income families. We present nonparametric estimates of the effects of minimum wages on the distribution of family income relative to needs in the United States. Although minimum wages increase the incomes of some poor families, the evidence indicates that their overall net effect is, if anything, to increase the proportions of families with incomes below or near the poverty line. It would appear that reductions in the proportions of families that are poor or near-poor should not be counted among the potential benefits of minimum wages.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/XL/4/867
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 40 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 867-894

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:40:y:2005:i:4:p:867-894
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1995. "Reconciling the evidence on employment effects of minimum wages: a review of our research findings," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-53, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L., 1998. "Minimum Wages and Poverty," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-42, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. David Card, 1992. "Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage," NBER Working Papers 4058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Richard V. Burkhauser & T. Aldrich Finegan, 1989. "The minimum wage and the poor: The end of a relationship," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 53-71.
  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. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1995. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on Teenage Employment and Enrollment: Evidence from Matched CPS Surveys," NBER Working Papers 5092, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:cup:etheor:v:8:y:1992:i:4:p:476-88 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. 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.
  9. David Card, 1992. "Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 22-37, October.
  10. Freeman, Richard B, 1996. "The Minimum Wage as a Redistributive Tool," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 639-49, May.
  11. Edward M. Gramlich, 1976. "Impact of Minimum Wages on Other Wages, Employment, and Family Incomes," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(2), pages 409-462.
  12. Marron, J.S. & Schmitz, H.-P., 1992. "Simultaneous Density Estimation of Several Income Distributions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(04), pages 476-488, December.
  13. Hashimoto, Masanori, 1982. "Minimum Wage Effects on Training on the Job," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1070-87, December.
  14. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2002. "Do Minimum Wages Fight Poverty?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(3), pages 315-333, July.
  15. Jean Baldwin Grossman, 1983. "The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Other Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 359-378.
  16. Johnson, William R & Browning, Edgar K, 1983. "The Distributional and Efficiency Effects of Increasing the Minimum Wage: A Simulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 204-11, March.
  17. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne & Stanger, Shuchita, 1999. "The Highs and Lows of the Minimum Wage Effect: A Time-Series Cross-Section Study of the Canadian Law," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 318-50, April.
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