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The Impact of Minimum Wages on Job Training: An Empirical Exploration with Establishment Data

  • David Fairris

    (University of California - Riverside)

  • Roberto Pedace

    (Claremont McKenna College)

Using data from the National Employer Survey (NES), this study examines the relationship between wages and on-the-job training. Traditional theory argues that workers may finance onthe- job human capital accumulation through lower wages. A binding minimum wage may, therefore, reduce workplace training if it prevents low-wage workers from offering wage cuts to help finance training. Empirical findings in this area have failed to reach a consensus on the training effects of minimum wages. However, previous research has relied primarily on survey data from individual workers, which typically possess poor measures of job training and little information about the characteristics of firms. Unlike previous research, this study addresses the issue of minimum wages and on-the-job training with a unique employer survey. We find strong evidence to suggest that minimum wages are associated with a reduction in the percentage of an establishment’s workforce receiving training, but only weak evidence indicating that minimum wages reduce the average number of hours establishments devote to training activities.

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Paper provided by Claremont Colleges in its series Claremont Colleges Working Papers with number 2000-36.

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Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2000-36
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  1. Prendergast, Canice, 1993. "The Role of Promotion in Inducing Specific Human Capital Acquisition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 523-34, May.
  2. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How Common is Workplace Transformation and Who Adopts it?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
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  4. Neumark, David & Wascher, William, 2001. "Minimum Wages and Training Revisited," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 563-95, July.
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  9. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2001. "Minimum Wages and On-the-Job Training," IZA Discussion Papers 384, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. Anne B. Royalty, 1996. "The effects of job turnover on the training of men and women," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(3), pages 505-521, April.
  12. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How common is workplace transformation and who adopts it?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
  13. Anne Beeson Royalty, 1996. "The Effects of Job Turnover on the Training of Men and Women," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(3), pages 506-521, April.
  14. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  15. Sherwin Rosen, 1972. "Learning and Experience in the Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 7(3), pages 326-342.
  16. Hashimoto, Masanori, 1982. "Minimum Wage Effects on Training on the Job," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1070-87, December.
  17. Lisa M. Lynch & Sandra E. Black, 1998. "Beyond the incidence of employer-provided training," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(1), pages 64-81, October.
  18. Adam J. Grossberg & Paul Sicilian, 1999. "Minimum Wages, On-the-Job Training, and Wage Growth," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 539-556, January.
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