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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. Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa, 2005. "Firms' location decision across asymmetric countries and employment inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 299-320, February.
  2. Francis Kramarz & Thomas Philippon, 2000. "The Impact of Differenctial Payroll Tax Subsidies on Minimum Wage Employment," Working Papers 2000-10, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. 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.
  4. Dolado, Juan J. & Felgueroso, Florentino & Jimeno, Juan F., 2000. "The Role of the Minimum Wage in the Welfare State: An Appraisal," IZA Discussion Papers 152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  6. Cahuc, Pierre & Zylberberg, Andre, 1999. "Job Protection, Minimum Wage and Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 95, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Mariana Spatareanu, 2005. "Do Foreign Investors Care about Labor Market Regulations?," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2005-005, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  8. Cahuc, Pierre & Michel, Philippe, 1996. "Minimum wage unemployment and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1463-1482, August.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 508, Econometric Society.
  12. 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).
  13. Hummels, David, 2001. "Time as a Trade Barrier," GTAP Working Papers 1152, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  14. 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.
  15. Portugal, Pedro & Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2002. "Disentangling the Minimum Wage Puzzle: An Analysis of Worker Accessions and Separations," IZA Discussion Papers 544, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. 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.
  17. Richard Dickens & Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1994. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on Employment: Theory and Evidence from Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0183, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  18. Guy Laroque & Bernard Salanié, 1999. "Breaking Down Married Female Non-Employment in France," Working Papers 99-31, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  19. 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.
  20. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1994. "Industrial Location and Public Infrastructure," CEPR Discussion Papers 909, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. repec:fth:inseep:9931 is not listed on IDEAS
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