IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cen/wpaper/19-31.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What Do Establishments Do When Wages Increase? Evidence from Minimum Wages in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Yuci Chen

Abstract

I investigate how establishments adjust their production plans on various margins when wage rates increase. Exploiting state-by-year variation in minimum wage, I analyze U.S. manufacturing plants' responses over a 23-year period. Using instrumental variable method and Census Microdata, I find that when the hourly wage of production workers increases by one percent, manufacturing plants reduce the total hours worked by production workers by 0.7 percent and increase capital expenditures on machinery and equipment by 2.7 percent. The reduction in total hours worked by production workers is driven by intensive-margin changes. The estimated elasticity of substitution between capital and labor is 0.85. Following the wage increases, no statistically significant changes emerge in revenue, materials or total factor productivity. Additionally, I nd that when wage rates increase, establishments are more likely to exit the market. Finally, I provide evidence that when the minimum wage increases the wages of some of the establishments in a firm, the firm also increases the wages for its other establishments.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuci Chen, 2019. "What Do Establishments Do When Wages Increase? Evidence from Minimum Wages in the United States," Working Papers 19-31, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:19-31
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2019/CES-WP-19-31.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2019
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Riley, Rebecca & Rosazza Bondibene, Chiara, 2017. "Raising the standard: Minimum wages and firm productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 27-50.
    2. Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger, 2016. "Reallocation in the Great Recession: Cleansing or Not?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 293-331.
    3. Lordan, Grace & Neumark, David, 2018. "People versus machines: The impact of minimum wages on automatable jobs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 40-53.
    4. Sylvia Allegretto & Arindrajit Dube & Michael Reich & Ben Zipperer, 2017. "Credible Research Designs for Minimum Wage Studies," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(3), pages 559-592, May.
    5. Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato & Owen Zidar, 2016. "Who Benefits from State Corporate Tax Cuts? A Local Labor Markets Approach with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(9), pages 2582-2624, September.
    6. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sylvia A. Allegretto & Arindrajit Dube & Michael Reich, 2011. "Do Minimum Wages Really Reduce Teen Employment? Accounting for Heterogeneity and Selectivity in State Panel Data," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 205-240, April.
    8. Ross Doppelt, 2017. "Minimum Wages and Hours of Work," 2017 Meeting Papers 1578, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Lichter, Andreas & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2015. "The own-wage elasticity of labor demand: A meta-regression analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 94-119.
    10. David H. Autor & David Dorn, 2013. "The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the US Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1553-1597, August.
    11. Harald Hau & Yi Huang & Gewei Wang, 2016. "Firm Response to Competitive Shocks: Evidence from China’s Minimum Wage Policy," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 16-47, Swiss Finance Institute.
    12. Leigh Andrew, 2010. "Who Benefits from the Earned Income Tax Credit? Incidence among Recipients, Coworkers and Firms," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-43, May.
    13. Karney, Daniel H., 2016. "General equilibrium models with Morishima elasticities of substitution in production," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 266-277.
    14. Enrico Moretti & Daniel J. Wilson, 2017. "The Effect of State Taxes on the Geographical Location of Top Earners: Evidence from Star Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(7), pages 1858-1903, July.
    15. David Neumark & J. M. Ian Salas & William Wascher, 2014. "Revisiting the Minimum Wage—Employment Debate: Throwing Out the Baby with the Bathwater?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 67(3_suppl), pages 608-648, May.
    16. Brent Neiman, 2014. "The Global Decline of the Labor Share," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 61-103.
    17. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2017. "Robots and Jobs: Evidence from US Labor Markets," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series dp-297, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    18. Don Fullerton & Garth Heutel, 2010. "The General Equilibrium Incidence of Environmental Mandates," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 64-89, August.
    19. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Minimum Wages and Firm Profitability," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 129-151, January.
    20. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Is the EITC as Good as an NIT? Conditional Cash Transfers and Tax Incidence," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 177-208, February.
    21. Daniel Aaronson, 2001. "Price Pass-Through And The Minimum Wage," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 158-169, February.
    22. Arindrajit Dube & Laura Giuliano & Jonathan Leonard, 2019. "Fairness and Frictions: The Impact of Unequal Raises on Quit Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(2), pages 620-663, February.
    23. 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.
    24. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2020. "Robots and Jobs: Evidence from US Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(6), pages 2188-2244.
    25. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.),Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555, Elsevier.
    26. Ekaterina Jardim & Mark C. Long & Robert Plotnick & Emma van Inwegen & Jacob Vigdor & Hilary Wething, 2017. "Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle," NBER Working Papers 23532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Robert S. Chirinko & Steven M. Fazzari & Andrew P. Meyer, 2011. "A New Approach to Estimating Production Function Parameters: The Elusive Capital--Labor Substitution Elasticity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 587-594, October.
    28. Ezra Oberfield & Devesh Raval, 2012. "Micro data and macro technology," Working Paper Series WP-2012-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    29. Devesh R. Raval, 2019. "The micro elasticity of substitution and non‐neutral technology," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 50(1), pages 147-167, March.
    30. repec:oup:qjecon:v:129:y:2013:i:1:p:61-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    31. Daniel Aaronson & Eric French & Isaac Sorkin & Ted To, 2018. "Industry Dynamics And The Minimum Wage: A Putty†Clay Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(1), pages 51-84, February.
    32. Fullerton, Don & Heutel, Garth, 2007. "The general equilibrium incidence of environmental taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 571-591, April.
    33. John Horton, 2017. "Price Floors and Employer Preferences: Evidence from a Minimum Wage Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6548, CESifo.
    34. Blackorby, Charles & Russell, R Robert, 1989. "Will the Real Elasticity of Substitution Please Stand Up? (A Comparison of the Allen/Uzawa and Morishima Elasticities)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 882-888, September.
    35. 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.
    36. Dube, Arindrajit & Zipperer, Ben, 2015. "Pooling Multiple Case Studies Using Synthetic Controls: An Application to Minimum Wage Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 8944, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    37. Bossavie,Laurent Loic Yves & Acar,Aysenur & Makovec,Mattia, 2019. "Do Firms Exit the Formal Economy after a Minimum Wage Hike ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8749, The World Bank.
    38. Jeffrey Clemens & Lisa B. Kahn & Jonathan Meer, 2021. "Dropouts Need Not Apply? The Minimum Wage and Skill Upgrading," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(S1), pages 107-149.
    39. Daniel Aaronson & Brian J Phelan, 2019. "Wage Shocks and the Technological Substitution of Low‐wage Jobs," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(617), pages 1-34.
    40. Peter Harasztosi & Attila Lindner, 2019. "Who Pays for the Minimum Wage?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(8), pages 2693-2727, August.
    41. Robert S. Chirinko & Debdulal Mallick, 2017. "The Substitution Elasticity, Factor Shares, and the Low-Frequency Panel Model," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 225-253, October.
    42. Paul Beaudry & Mark Doms & Ethan Lewis, 2010. "Should the Personal Computer Be Considered a Technological Revolution? Evidence from U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 988-1036.
    43. Arindrajit Dube & T. William Lester & Michael Reich, 2010. "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 945-964, November.
    44. Chirinko, Robert S. & Fazzari, Steven M. & Meyer, Andrew P., 2011. "A New Approach to Estimating Production Function Parameters: The Elusive Capital–Labor Substitution Elasticity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(4), pages 587-594.
    45. Dara Lee Luca & Michael Luca, 2017. "Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit," Harvard Business School Working Papers 17-088, Harvard Business School, revised Aug 2018.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. David Neumark, 2019. "The Econometrics and Economics of the Employment Effects of Minimum Wages: Getting from Known Unknowns to Known Knowns," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 20(3), pages 293-329, August.
    2. Koch, Andreas & Kirchmann, Andrea & Reiner, Marcel & Scheu, Tobias & Zühlke, Anne & Bonin, Holger, 2020. "Verhaltensmuster von Betrieben und Beschäftigten im Kontext des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns," IZA Research Reports 97, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Lordan, Grace & Neumark, David, 2018. "People versus machines: The impact of minimum wages on automatable jobs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 40-53.
    4. Sebastian Link, 2019. "The Price and Employment Response of Firms to the Introduction of Minimum Wages," CESifo Working Paper Series 7575, CESifo.
    5. Amanda Y. Agan & Michael D. Makowsky, 2018. "The Minimum Wage, EITC, and Criminal Recidivism," Working Papers 616, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Mayneris, Florian & Poncet, Sandra & Zhang, Tao, 2018. "Improving or disappearing: Firm-level adjustments to minimum wages in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 20-42.
    7. Jonas Hjort & Xuan Li & Heather Sarsons, 2020. "Across-Country Wage Compression in Multinationals," NBER Working Papers 26788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Brian Bell & Stephen Machin, 2018. "Minimum Wages and Firm Value," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 159-195.
    9. Doruk Cengiz & Arindrajit Dube & Attila Lindner & Ben Zipperer, 2018. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Low-Wage Jobs: Evidence from the United States Using a Bunching Estimator," CEP Discussion Papers dp1531, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. Katharine G. Abraham & Melissa S. Kearney, 2018. "Explaining the Decline in the U.S. Employment-to-Population Ratio: a Review of the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 24333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jonas Hjort & Xuan Li & Heather Sarsons, 2020. "Random-Coefficients Logit Demand Estimation with Zero-Valued Market Shares," Working Papers 2020-15, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    12. Clemens, Jeffrey, 2019. "Making Sense of the Minimum Wage: A Roadmap for Navigating Recent Research," MPRA Paper 94324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Lavecchia, Adam M., 2020. "Minimum wage policy with optimal taxes and unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    14. Peter Harasztosi & Attila Lindner, 2019. "Who Pays for the Minimum Wage?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(8), pages 2693-2727, August.
    15. Chang Hyung Lee, 2020. "Minimum Wage Policy and Community College Enrollment Patterns," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 73(1), pages 178-210, January.
    16. Pestel, Nico & Bonin, Holger & Isphording, Ingo E. & Gregory, Terry & Caliendo, Marco, 2020. "Auswirkungen des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns auf Beschäftigung und Arbeitslosigkeit," IZA Research Reports 95, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Clemens, Jeffrey & Wither, Michael, 2019. "The minimum wage and the Great Recession: Evidence of effects on the employment and income trajectories of low-skilled workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 53-67.
    18. Borgschulte, Mark & Cho, Heepyung, 2018. "Minimum Wages and Retirement," IZA Discussion Papers 11728, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Marius Berger & Bruno Lanz, 2020. "Minimum wage regulation in Switzerland: survey evidence for restaurants in the canton of Neuchâtel," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 156(1), pages 1-23, December.
    20. Ekaterina Jardim & Emma van Inwegen, 2019. "Payroll, Revenue, and Labor Demand Effects of the Minimum Wage," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 19-298, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

    More about this item

    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:cen:wpaper:19-31. 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: (Dawn Anderson). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cesgvus.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.