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Wage and Employment Effects of Non-Binding Minimum Wages

  • Marcus Dittrich
  • Andreas Knabe

Common wisdom holds that the introduction of a non-binding minimum wage is irrelevant for actual wages and employment. Empirical and experimental research, however, has shown that the introduction of a minimum wage can raise even those wages that were already above the new minimum wage. In this paper, we analyze how these findings can be explained by theoretical wage bargaining models between unions and firms. While the Nash bargaining solution is unaffected by minimum wages below initially bargained wages, we show that such minimum wages can drive up wages – and be harmful to employment – when bargaining follows the Kalai-Smorodinsky solution.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2010/wp-cesifo-2010-08/cesifo1_wp3149.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3149.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3149
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  1. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst & Zehnder, Christian, 2005. "The Behavioural Effects of Minimum Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 5115, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-93.
  3. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  4. Dickens, Richard & Alan Manning, 2003. "The Impact of the National Minimum Wage on the Wage Distribution in a Low-Wage Sector," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 60, Royal Economic Society.
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