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Location Decisions and Minimum Wages

  • Isabelle Méjean
  • Lise Patureau

The paper contributes to the living debate on the controversial effects of minimum wage policy on economic performances, focusing on its impact on firms’ location choice. The question is investigated through a theoretical model, that incorporates features from the new trade literature (Krugman (1991)) and the labor-market literature. In a two-country framework, we model endogenous entry of firms under wage rigidity. In this setting, the impact of an unilateral increase in the home country’s minimum wage is analyzed. The policy shock is shown to have a twofold influence on the relative attractiveness of the home country, simultaneously affecting its relative cost competitiveness and the aggregate demand addressed to firms. Both effects do not necessarily go in the same direction, hence the final effect on firms’ location decisions is ambiguous. We show that it notably depends on the adjustments that occur on the skilled and unskilled labor markets. Our overall results suggest that the design of labor-market policies should take into account their impact on firms’ location decisions, if willing to evaluate their whole consequences in the national economy.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2007-16.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2007-16
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  1. David L. Hummels & Georg Schaur, 2013. "Time as a Trade Barrier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2935-59, December.
  2. Cahuc, P. & Michel, P., 1992. "Minimum Wage, Unemployment and Growth," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 92.35, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  3. Pedro Portugal & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2006. "Disentangling the Minimum Wage Puzzle: An Analysis of Worker Accessions and Separations," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 988-1013, 09.
  4. Christian Broda & David Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the gains from variety," Staff Reports 180, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  5. Cahuc, Pierre & Zylberberg, André, 1999. "Job protection, minimum wage and employment," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9914, CEPREMAP.
  6. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1995. "Industrial location and public infrastructure," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 335-351, November.
  7. Bhaskar, V & To, Ted, 1999. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 190-203, April.
  8. Juan J. Dolado & Florentino Felgueroso & Juan F. Jimeno, 2000. "The Role of the Minimum Wage in the Welfare State: An Appraisal," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 136(III), pages 223-245, September.
  9. Dickens, Richard & Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1999. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on Employment: Theory and Evidence from Britain," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 1-22, January.
  10. Kramarz, Francis & Philippon, Thomas, 2001. "The impact of differential payroll tax subsidies on minimum wage employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 115-146, October.
  11. Laroque, Guy & Salanié, Bernard, 1999. "Breaking Down Married Female Non-Employment in France," CEPR Discussion Papers 2239, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Markusen, James R & Maskus, Keith E, 2002. "Discriminating among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 694-707, November.
  13. repec:fth:inseep:9931 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Javorcik, Beata & Spatareanu, Mariana, 2005. "Do Foreign Investors Care About Labour Market Regulations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4839, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  16. Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa, 2005. "Firms' location decision across asymmetric countries and employment inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 299-320, February.
  17. Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1996. "Employment and the Introduction of a Minimum Wage in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 667-76, May.
  18. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  19. Manning, Alan, 1995. "How Do We Know That Real Wages Are Too High?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1111-25, November.
  20. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Steve Golub & Dana Hajkova & Daniel Mirza & Kwang-Yeol Yoo, 2003. "Policies and International Integration: Influences on Trade and Foreign Direct Investment," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 359, OECD Publishing.
  21. Picard, Pierre M. & Toulemonde, Eric, 2001. "The Impact of Labor Markets on Emergence and Persistence of Regional Asymmetries," IZA Discussion Papers 248, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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