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Minimum wages and firm value

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  • Brian Bell
  • Stephen Machin

Abstract

How does the value of a firm change in response to a minimum wage hike? The evidence we have to date is not well-suited to answer this question, principally because events that have been studied are not completely unknown to the stock market or have uncertainty associated with them. This paper exploits the announcement of a sizeable change in the minimum wage in the UK that was both totally unanticipated and free of uncertainty. The stock market response of employers of minimum wage workers is examined in an event study setting, looking at minute-by-minute changes surrounding the announcement and at cumulative abnormal returns on a daily basis before and after the announcement. The analysis uncovers significant falls in the stock market value of low wage firms. The size of the fall in value is compared to the fall in profitability in response to the wage cost shock that will be induced by the announcement and is seen to be of a comparable magnitude.

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  • Brian Bell & Stephen Machin, 2016. "Minimum wages and firm value," CEP Discussion Papers dp1404, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1404
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    Cited by:

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    3. Raymond Robertson & Drusilla Brown & Rajeev Dehejia, 2021. "Working conditions and factory survival: Evidence from better factories Cambodia," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 228-254, February.
    4. Sebastian Link, 2019. "The Price and Employment Response of Firms to the Introduction of Minimum Wages," CESifo Working Paper Series 7575, CESifo.
    5. Giulia Giupponi & Stephen Machin, 2018. "Changing the structure of minimum wages: firm adjustment and wage spillovers," CEP Discussion Papers dp1533, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    6. Duchini, Emma & Simion, Stefania & Turrell, Arthur, 2020. "Pay Transparency and Cracks in the Glass Ceiling," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1311, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    7. Bossler, Mario & Gürtzgen, Nicole & Lochner, Benjamin & Betzl, Ute & Feist, Lisa, 2018. "The German minimum wage: Effects on business expectations, profitability, and investments," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 13/2018, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    8. Alexandre, F. & Bação, P. & Cerejeira, J. & Costa, H. & Portela, M., 2022. "Minimum wage and financially distressed firms: Another one bites the dust," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    9. Mario Bossler & Sandra Broszeit, 2017. "Do minimum wages increase job satisfaction? Micro-data evidence from the new German minimum wage," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 31(4), pages 480-493, December.
    10. Nicolas Gavoille & Anna Zasova, 2021. "What we pay in the shadow: Labor tax evasion, minimum wage hike and employment," SSE Riga/BICEPS Research Papers 6, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies (BICEPS);Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga).
    11. Aart Gerritsen & Bas Jacobs, 2020. "Is a Minimum Wage an Appropriate Instrument for Redistribution?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 87(347), pages 611-637, July.
    12. Dara Lee Luca & Michael Luca, 2019. "Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit," NBER Working Papers 25806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. 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.
    14. Bai, Xue & Chatterjee, Arpita & Krishna, Kala & Ma, Hong, 2021. "Trade and minimum wages in general equilibrium: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    15. Pawel Adrjan, 2018. "Risky Business? Earnings Prospects of Employees at Young Firms," Economics Series Working Papers 852, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    16. Nikhil Datta & Giulia Giupponi & Stephen Machin, 2019. "Zero-hours contracts and labour market policy," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 34(99), pages 369-427.
    17. Bossler Mario & Gürtzgen Nicole & Betzl Ute & Feist Lisa & Lochner Benjamin, 2020. "The German Minimum Wage: Effects on Productivity, Profitability, and Investments," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 240(2-3), pages 321-350, April.
    18. Vega-Gutierrez, Pedro Luis & López-Iturriaga, Félix J. & Rodriguez-Sanz, Juan Antonio, 2021. "Labour market conditions and the corporate financing decision: A European analysis," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C).
    19. 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).
    20. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2019. "Minimum Wages and Productivity: Evidence from Japan," Policy Discussion Papers 19015, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    21. Schumann, Mathias, 2017. "The effects of minimum wages on firm-financed apprenticeship training," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 163-181.

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    Keywords

    minimum wages; firm value;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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