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The Impact of Sectoral Minimum Wage Laws on Employment, Wages, and Hours of Work in South Africa

Author

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  • Bhorat, Haroon
  • Kanbur, Ravi
  • Mayet, Natasha

Abstract

This paper attempts to investigate the impact of sectoral wage laws in South Africa. Specifically, we examine the impact of minimum wage laws promulgated in the Retail, Domestic work, Forestry, Security, and Taxi sectors using 15 waves of biannual Labour Force Survey data for the 2000-2007 period. Using a quasi-experimental approach, we apply two alternative specifications of a difference-in-differences model to estimate the impact of multiple minimum wage laws in South Africa on employment, wages, and hours of work. In order to assess whether the changes experienced by workers in the sectors analysed were unique to those sectors, a unique control group is identified for each sector.We find some evidence of a significant increase in real hourly wages in the post-law period in four of the five sectors examined. Our results also suggest that whilst there was no significant impact of the laws at the extensive margin, there was some evidence of an adjustment at the intensive margin in certain sectors. We also find that in three of the five sectors, increases in real hourly wages were sufficient to outweigh intensive margin adjustments so that workers in these sectors experienced an improvement in real monthly income as a result of the law.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bhorat, Haroon & Kanbur, Ravi & Mayet, Natasha, 2013. "The Impact of Sectoral Minimum Wage Laws on Employment, Wages, and Hours of Work in South Africa," Working Papers 180096, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:180096
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. William Maloney & Jairo Mendez, 2004. "Measuring the Impact of Minimum Wages. Evidence from Latin America," NBER Chapters,in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 109-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Haroon BHORAT & Ravi KANBUR & Natasha MAYET, 2012. "Minimum wage violation in South Africa," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 151(3), pages 277-287, September.
    4. Dinkelman, Taryn & Ranchhod, Vimal, 2012. "Evidence on the impact of minimum wage laws in an informal sector: Domestic workers in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 27-45.
    5. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
    6. Charles Brown & Curtis Gilroy & Andrew Kohen, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 0846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Conradie, Beatrice, 2005. "Wages and wage elasticities for wine and table grapes in South Africa," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 0(Issue 1), pages 1-19, March.
    8. Haroon Bhorat & Ravi Kanbur & Benjamin Stanwix, 2014. "Estimating the Impact of Minimum Wages on Employment, Wages, and Non-Wage Benefits: The Case of Agriculture in South Africa," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1402-1419.
    9. Murray, Justin & van Walbeek, Corne, 2007. "Impact of the Sectoral Determination for Farm Workers on the South African Sugar Industry: Case Study of the KwaZulu-Natal North and South Coasts," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 0(Issue 1), pages 1-19, March.
    10. David S. Lee, 1999. "Wage Inequality in the United States During the 1980s: Rising Dispersion or Falling Minimum Wage?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 977-1023.
    11. Haroon Bhorat & Ravi Kanbur & Natasha Mayet, 2012. "Estimating the Causal Effect of Enforcement on Minimum Wage Compliance: The Case of S outh A frica," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 608-623, November.
    12. Haroon Bhorat & Ravi Kanbur & Natasha Mayet, 2013. "A Note on Measuring the Depth of Minimum Wage Violation," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 27(2), pages 192-197, June.
    13. repec:fth:prinin:298 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Tom Hertz, 2005. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on the Employment and Earnings of South Africa’s Domestic Service Workers," Working Papers 05099, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    15. Nicola Branson, 2009. "Re-weighting the OHS and LFS National household Survey Data to create a consistent series over time: A Cross Entropy Estimation Approach," SALDRU Working Papers 38, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    16. Haroon Bhorat, 2000. "Are Wage Adjustments an Effective Mechanism for Poverty Alleviation?: Some Simulations for Domestic and Farm Workers," Working Papers 00041, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
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    Cited by:

    1. Haroon Bhorat, 2014. "Compliance with minimum wage laws in developing countries," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-80, August.
    2. Loughrey, Jason & Donnellan, Trevor & Hanrahan, Kevin & Hennessy, Thia, 2013. "Agricultural Labour Market Flexibility in the EU and Candidate Countries," Factor Markets Working Papers 161, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    3. repec:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:135-157 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Piotr Lewandowski & Agnieszka Kaminska, 2015. "The effects of minimum wage on a labour market with high temporary employment," IBS Working Papers 7/2015, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    5. repec:taf:deveza:v:34:y:2017:i:1:p:1-16 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jeroen Horemans, 2016. "The part-time poverty gap across Europe: How institutions affect the way part-time and full-time workers avoid poverty differently," Working Papers 1603, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    7. T. H. Gindling, 2014. "Does increasing the minimum wage reduce poverty in developing countries?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-30, May.
    8. Haroon Bhorat & Tara Caetano & Benjamin Jourdan & Ravi Kanbur & Christopher Rooney & Benjamin Stanwix & Ingrid Woolard, 2016. "Investigating the Feasibility of a National Minimum Wage for South Africa," Working Papers 201601, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    9. Haroon Bhorat & Ravi Kanbur & Benjamin Stanwix, 2017. "Minimum Wages in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Primer," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 21-74.
    10. Soundararajan, Vidhya, 2014. "Minimum Wage Effects at Different Enforcement Levels: Evidence from Employment Surveys in India," Working Papers 180133, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    11. Belman, Dale. & Wolfson, Paul., 2016. "What does the minimum wage do in developing countries? : A review of studies and methodologies," ILO Working Papers 994893283402676, International Labour Organization.
    12. Nur FERIYANTO & Jaka SRIYANA, 2016. "Labor Absorption Under Minimum Wage Policy In Indonesia," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(1), pages 11-21, June.
    13. Nicolás Grau & Jorge Miranda & Esteban Puentes, 2018. "The Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Wages," Working Papers wp466, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    14. Maike Hohberg & Jann Lay, 2015. "The impact of minimum wages on informal and formal labor market outcomes: evidence from Indonesia," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-25, December.
    15. Haroon Bhorat & Ravi Kanbur & Benjamin Stanwix, 2014. "Estimating the Impact of Minimum Wages on Employment, Wages, and Non-Wage Benefits: The Case of Agriculture in South Africa," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1402-1419.
    16. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2014-006 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Bhorat, Haroon & Naidoo, Karmen & Yu, Derek, 2014. "Trade unions in an emerging economy: The case of South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 055, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    18. Davidescu, Adriana Anamaria & Schneider, Friedrich, 2017. "Nature of the Relationship between Minimum Wage and the Shadow Economy Size: An Empirical Analysis for the Case of Romania," IZA Discussion Papers 11247, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Rulof Burger & Rachel Jafta & Dieter von Fintel, 2016. "Affirmative action policies and the evolution of post-apartheid South Africa's racial wage gap," WIDER Working Paper Series 066, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    20. David N. Margolis, 2014. "Introducing a statutory minimum wage in middle and low income countries," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-52, May.
    21. Sudip Ranjan Basu & Yusuke Tateno, 2013. "Minimum wage policies to boost inclusive growth," MPDD Policy Briefs PB16, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
    22. Selin Pelek, 2015. "The Employment Effect of the Minimum Wage: An Empirical Analysis From Turkey," Ekonomi-tek - International Economics Journal, Turkish Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 49-68, January.
    23. Dieter von Fintel, 2017. "Institutional wage-setting, labour demand and labour supply: Causal estimates from a South African pseudo-panel," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 1-16, January.
    24. Patrick Belser & Uma Rani, 2015. "Minimum wages and inequality," Chapters,in: Labour Markets, Institutions and Inequality, chapter 5, pages 123-146 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor and Human Capital; Production Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • 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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