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Do Minimum Wages Really Reduce Teen Employment? Accounting for Heterogeneity and Selectivity in State Panel Data

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  • Allegretto, Sylvia
  • Dube, Arindrajit
  • Reich, Michael

Abstract

Traditional estimates of minimum wage effects include controls for state unemployment rates and state and year fixed-effects. Using CPS data on teens for the period 1990 – 2009, we show that such estimates fail to account for heterogeneous employment patterns that are correlated with selectivity among states with minimum wages. As a result, the estimates are often biased and vary with the source of identifying variation. Including controls for long-term growth differences among states and for heterogeneous economic shocks renders the employment and hours elasticities indistinguishable from zero and rules out any but small disemployment effects. Dynamic evidence further shows the nature of bias in traditional estimates, and it also rules out more negative long run effects. We do not find evidence of heterogeneous employment effects in different parts of the business cycle. We also consider predictable versus unpredictable changes in the minimum wage by looking at indexation of the minimum wage in some states.

Suggested Citation

  • Allegretto, Sylvia & Dube, Arindrajit & Reich, Michael, 2010. "Do Minimum Wages Really Reduce Teen Employment? Accounting for Heterogeneity and Selectivity in State Panel Data," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt7jq2q3j8, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt7jq2q3j8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laura Giuliano, 2007. "Minimum wage effects on employment, substitution, and the quality of the teenage labor supply: Evidence from personal data," Working Papers 0723, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    2. Arindrajit Dube & Suresh Naidu & Michael Reich, 2007. "The Economic Effects of a Citywide Minimum Wage," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(4), pages 522-543, July.
    3. Pinoli, Sara, 2008. "Rational Expectations and the Puzzling No-Effect of the Minimum Wage," MPRA Paper 11405, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. William Wascher & David Neumark, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1362-1396, December.
    5. Daniel Aaronson & Kyung-Hong Park & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2006. "The decline in teen labor force participation," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 2-18.
    6. Christopher L. Foote, 2007. "Space and time in macroeconomic panel data: young workers and state-level unemployment revisited," Working Papers 07-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    7. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne & Stanger, Shuchita, 1999. "The Highs and Lows of the Minimum Wage Effect: A Time-Series Cross-Section Study of the Canadian Law," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 318-350, April.
    8. Joseph Sabia, 2009. "The Effects of Minimum Wage Increases on Retail Employment and Hours: New Evidence from Monthly CPS Data," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 75-97, March.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Aumentare i salari minimi non provoca disoccupazione. Evidenze empiriche dagli Stati Uniti
      by keynesblog in Keynes Blog on 2012-06-25 13:36:33

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Meer & Jeremy West, 2016. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 500-522.
    2. David H. Autor & Alan Manning & Christopher L. Smith, 2016. "The Contribution of the Minimum Wage to US Wage Inequality over Three Decades: A Reassessment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 58-99, January.
    3. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2011. "Do Frictions Matter in the Labor Market? Accessions, Separations, and Minimum Wage Effects," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt4t3342nd, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    4. David Neumark, 2009. "Alternative Labor Market Policies to Increase Economic Self-Sufficiency: Mandating Higher Wages, Subsidizing Employment, and Increasing Productivity," NBER Working Papers 14807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. John Schmitt, 2013. "Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2013-04, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    6. Slonimczyk, Fabián & Skott, Peter, 2012. "Employment and distribution effects of the minimum wage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 245-264.
    7. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2012. "Minimum Wage Shocks, Employment Flows and Labor Market Frictions," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt76p927ks, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    8. David Neumark & J.M. Ian Salas & William Wascher, 2013. "Revisiting the Minimum Wage-Employment Debate: Throwing Out the Baby with the Bathwater?," NBER Working Papers 18681, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Laura Giuliano, 2013. "Minimum Wage Effects on Employment, Substitution, and the Teenage Labor Supply: Evidence from Personnel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 155-194.
    10. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L. & Cotti, Chad, 2011. "Minimum Wage Increases Under Straightened Circumstances," IZA Discussion Papers 6036, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Even, William E. & Macpherson, David A., 2012. "The Effect of Tip Credits on Earnings and Employment in the U.S. Restaurant Industry," IZA Discussion Papers 7092, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L. & Cotti, Chad D., 2011. "Minimum Wage Increases in a Soft U.S. Economy," Economics Series 273, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    13. repec:ilo:ilowps:485514 is not listed on IDEAS

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