The productivity enhancing Impacts of the Minimum Wage: Lessons from Denmark, New Zealand and Ireland
There has been increasing interest of late in the question of whether minimum wage regulations can raise productivity through the 'shock effect'. This paper explores this question in comparative perspective, by examining the impact of minimum wage regulations and institutions in Denmark, New Zealand and Ireland. It argues that while they are important, a supportive institutional framework plays a far more crucial role in providing coordinated solutions to issues of market failure, such as inadequate levels of training. The paper suggests that sectoral bargaining institutions in low-paid sectors may have the potential to facilitate such coordination and enable the high-productivity model to emerge. For the UK context, this raises the question as to whether Wages Councils in a modernised form might have some future role to play.
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