IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/aia/ginidp/56.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

GINI DP 56: Mind the Gap: Net Incomes of Minimum Wage Workers in the EU and the US

Author

Listed:
  • Ive Marx

    () (Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp)

  • Sarah Marchal

    () (CSB , University of Antwerp)

  • Brian Nolan

    () (School of Applied Social Science, University College Dublin)

Abstract

This paper focuses on the role of minimum wages, in conjunction with tax and benefit policies, in protecting workers against financial poverty. It covers 20 European countries with a national minimum wage and three US States (New Jersey, Nebraska and Texas). It is shown that only for single persons and only in certain countries do net income packages at minimum wage level reach or exceed the EU’s at-risk-of poverty threshold, which is set at 60 per cent of median equivalent household income in each country. For lone parents and sole breadwinners with a partner and children to support, net income packages at minimum wage are below this threshold almost everywhere, usually by a wide margin. This remains the case despite shifts over the past decade towards tax relief and additional income support provisions for low-paid workers. We argue that there appear to be limits to what minimum wage policies alone can achieve in the fight against in-work poverty. The route of raising minimum wages to eliminate poverty among workers solely reliant on it seems to be inherently constrained, especially in countries where the distance between minimum and average wage levels is already comparatively small and where relative poverty thresholds are mostly a function of the dual-earner living standards. In order to fight in-work poverty new policy routes need to be explored. The paper offers a brief discussion of possible alternatives and cautions against ‘one size fits all’ policy solutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ive Marx & Sarah Marchal & Brian Nolan, 2012. "GINI DP 56: Mind the Gap: Net Incomes of Minimum Wage Workers in the EU and the US," GINI Discussion Papers 56, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aia:ginidp:56
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://archive.uva-aias.net/uploaded_files/publications/DP56-Marx,Marchal,Nolan.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Boeri, Tito, 2012. "Setting the minimum wage," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 281-290.
    2. Juan J. Dolado & Florentino Felgueroso & Juan F. Jimeno, 2000. "The Role of the Minimum Wage in the Welfare State: An Appraisal," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 136(III), pages 223-245, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Eissa, Nada & Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 2004. "Taxes and the labor market participation of married couples: the earned income tax credit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1931-1958, August.
    5. Bargain, Olivier & Orsini, Kristian, 2006. "Beans for Breakfast? How Exportable Is the British Workfare Model?," IZA Discussion Papers 2025, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. L. Randall Wray & Stephanie Bell, 2004. "Introduction," Chapters,in: Credit and State Theories of Money, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Miles Corak & Christine Lietz & Holly Sutherland, 2005. "The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Children in the European Union," Papers inwopa05/30, Innocenti Working Papers.
    8. Denis Anne & Yannick L’Horty, 2009. "Les effets du revenu de Solidarité active sur les gains du retour à l'emploi," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 60(3), pages 767-776.
    9. Philippe Robert-Demontrond & R. Ringoot, 2004. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00081823, HAL.
    10. Brewer, Mike & Duncan, Alan & Shephard, Andrew & Suarez, Maria Jose, 2006. "Did working families' tax credit work? The impact of in-work support on labour supply in Great Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 699-720, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Rense Nieuwenhuis & Laurie C. Maldonado, 2017. "Single-Parent Families and In-Work Poverty," LIS Working papers 687, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aia:ginidp:56. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiemer Salverda). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aiuvanl.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.