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Minimum Wages and Youth Employment in France and the United States

In: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries

  • John M. Abowd
  • Francis Kramarz
  • Thomas Lemieux
  • David N. Margolis

We use longitudinal individual wage and employment data for young people in France and the United States to investigate the effect of intertemporal changes in an individual's status vis-…-vis the real minimum wage on employment transition rates. We" find that movements in both French and American real minimum wages are associated with relatively important employment effects in general, and very strong effects on workers employed at the minimum wage. In the French case, albeit imprecisely estimated, a 1% increase in the real minimum wage decreases the employment probability of a young man currently employed at the minimum wage by 2.5%. In the United States, a decrease in the real minimum of 1% increases the probability that a young man employed at the minimum wage came from nonemployment by 2.2%. These effects get worse with age in the United States, and are mitigated by eligibility for special employment promotion contracts in France.

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This chapter was published in:
  • David G. Blanchflower & Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blan00-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 6813.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6813
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.orgEmail:


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    1. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 1993. "Wage Dispersion, Returns to Skill, and Black-White Wage Differentials," Working Papers 691, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1992. "Employment Effects of Minimum and Subminimum Wages: Panel Data on State Minimum Wage Laws," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 55-81, October.
    3. Topel, Robert H & Ward, Michael P, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-79, May.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521818551 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," NBER Working Papers 4917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
    9. Linneman, Peter, 1982. "The Economic Impacts of Minimum Wage Laws: A New Look at an Old Question," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 443-69, June.
    10. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1992. "Minimum Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0080, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. Anne Sérandon & Denis Fougère & Liliane Bonnal, 1994. "L'impact des dispositifs d'emploi sur le devenir des jeunes chômeurs : une évaluation économétrique sur données longitudinales," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 115(4), pages 1-28.
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