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Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment Dynamics

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  • Jonathan Meer
  • Jeremy West

Abstract

The voluminous literature on minimum wages offers little consensus on the extent to which a wage floor impacts employment. We argue that the minimum wage will impact employment over time through changes in growth rather than an immediate drop in relative employment levels. We show that commonly used specifications in this literature, especially those that include state-specific time trends, will not accurately capture these effects. Using three separate state panels of administrative employment data, we find that the minimum wage reduces job growth over a period of several years. This finding is supported using several empirical specifications.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Meer & Jeremy West, 2016. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 500-522.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:51:y:2016:i:2:p:500-522
    Note: DOI: 10.3368/jhr.51.2.0414-6298R1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laura Giuliano, 2013. "Minimum Wage Effects on Employment, Substitution, and the Teenage Labor Supply: Evidence from Personnel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 155-194.
    2. Sylvia A. Allegretto & Arindrajit Dube & Michael Reich, 2011. "Do Minimum Wages Really Reduce Teen Employment? Accounting for Heterogeneity and Selectivity in State Panel Data," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 205-240, April.
    3. Neumark, David & Salas, J.M. Ian & Wascher, William, 2013. "Revisiting the Minimum Wage-Employment Debate: Throwing Out the Baby with the Bathwater?," IZA Discussion Papers 7166, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Katharine G. Abraham & John Haltiwanger & Kristin Sandusky & James R. Spletzer, 2013. "Exploring Differences in Employment between Household and Establishment Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages 129-172.
    5. Marianne E. Page & Joanne Spetz & Jane Millar, 2005. "Does the minimum wage affect welfare caseloads?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 273-295.
    6. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, September.
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