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Exploiting the Irish Border to Estimate Minimum Wage Impacts in Northern Ireland

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  • McVicar Duncan

    (Queen’s Management School, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK)

  • Park Andrew

    (Ulster University Economic Policy Centre, Newtownabbey, UK)

  • McGuinness Seamus

    (IZA, Bonn, Germany)

Abstract

This paper examines the impacts of the introduction of the UK National Minimum Wage (NMW) in 1999 and the introduction of the UK National Living Wage (NLW) in 2016 in Northern Ireland (NI) on employment and hours. NI is the only part of the UK with a land border where the NMW and NLW cover those working on one side of the border but not those working on the other side of the border (i.e., Republic of Ireland). This discontinuity in minimum wage coverage enables a research design that estimates the impacts of the NMW and NLW on employment and hours worked using difference-in-differences estimation. We find a small decrease in the employment rate of 22–59/64-year-olds in NI, of up to 2% points, in the year following the introduction of the NMW, but no impact on hours worked. We find no clear evidence that the introduction of the NLW impacted either employment or hours worked in NI.

Suggested Citation

  • McVicar Duncan & Park Andrew & McGuinness Seamus, 2019. "Exploiting the Irish Border to Estimate Minimum Wage Impacts in Northern Ireland," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 8(1), pages 565-640, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:izajle:v:8:y:2019:i:1:p:565-640:n:2
    DOI: 10.2478/izajole-2019-0002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David Neumark, 2019. "The Econometrics and Economics of the Employment Effects of Minimum Wages: Getting from Known Unknowns to Known Knowns," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 20(3), pages 293-329, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    minimum wages; Northern Ireland; employment; hours;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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