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Minimum Wages in Colombia: Holding the Middle with a Bite

Author

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  • Carlos Arango

    ()

  • Angélica Pachón

    ()

Abstract

This paper exploits the long history of the minimum wage in a relatively stable developing economy like Colombia in order to see whether it may alleviate the living conditions of low income families and reduce income inequality. The paper does not only explore how the minimum wage may serve these purposes, but also how it may distort market outcomes to do so. We found significant negative minimum wage effects on both the likelihood of being employed and hours worked for all family members, being it stronger for women, and the young and less educated people. We also found a positive effect on non-head participation especially in families with low human capital. But, more important, we found evidence that the minimum wage ends up being regressive, improving the living conditions of families in the middle and the upper part of the income distribution with net losses for those at the bottom.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Arango & Angélica Pachón, 2004. "Minimum Wages in Colombia: Holding the Middle with a Bite," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003224, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000094:003224
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
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    3. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-243, May.
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    5. William Maloney & Jairo Mendez, 2004. "Measuring the Impact of Minimum Wages. Evidence from Latin America," NBER Chapters,in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 109-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Azam, Jean-Paul, 1997. "Efficiency Wage and the Family: An Explanation for the Impact of the Agricultural Minimum Wage in Morocco," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 369-382.
    7. Richard V. Burkhauser & Kenneth A. Couch & David C. Wittenburg, 2000. "Who Minimum Wage Increases Bite: An Analysis Using Monthly Data from the SIPP and the CPS," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 16-40, July.
    8. Freeman, Richard B, 1996. "The Minimum Wage as a Redistributive Tool," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 639-649, May.
    9. Alida Castillo Freeman & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Minimum Wages in Puerto Rico: Textbook Case of a Wage Floor?," NBER Working Papers 3759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Robertson, D & Symons, J, 1992. "Some Strange Properties of Panel Data Estimators," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(2), pages 175-189, April-Jun.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jhon James Mora & Juan Muro, 2014. "Informality and minimum wages by cohort in Colombia," REVISTA CUADERNOS DE ECONOMÍA, UN - RCE - CID, August.
    2. Cunningham, Wendy & Jacobsen, Joyce P., 2008. "Earnings inequality within and across gender, racial, and ethnic groups in four Latin American Countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4591, The World Bank.
    3. Alaniz, Enrique & Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2011. "The impact of minimum wages on wages, work and poverty in Nicaragua," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages 45-59.
    4. Richard B. Freeman, 2009. "Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries: Market distortions or Efficient Institutions?," NBER Working Papers 14789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Cuong Viet Nguyen, 2013. "The impact of minimum wages on employment of low-wage workers," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 21(3), pages 583-615, July.
    6. Luis Eduardo Arango & Paula Herrera & Carlos Esteban Posada, 2008. "El salario mínimo: aspectos generales sobre los casos de Colombia y otros países," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 26(56), pages 204-263, June.
    7. Valentina Calderón & Ana María Ibáñez, 2005. "Labor Market Effects of Migration-Related Supply Shocks: Evidence from Internally Displaced Populations in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 005851, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    8. Marc Hofstetter, 2005. "Política Monetaria Y La Corte Constitucional: El Caso Del Salario Mínimo," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003338, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    9. Elizabeth Cotton & Tony Royle, 2014. "Transnational Organizing: A Case Study of Contract Workers in the Colombian Mining Industry," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 52(4), pages 705-724, December.
    10. Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2010. "Minimum Wages, Globalization, and Poverty in Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 908-918, June.
    11. Luis Eduardo Arango & Paula Herrera & Carlos Esteban Posada, 2008. "El salario mínimo: aspectos generales sobre los casos de Colombia y otros países," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 26(56), pages 204-263, June.
    12. Francisco Javier Lasso Valderrama, 2010. "INCREMENTOS DEL SALARIO MÍNIMO LEGAL: ¿cuál es el impacto redistributivo del cambio en los precios relativos al consumidor?," Borradores de Economia 598, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    13. Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler, 2009. "Labor Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in Developing Countries: Evidence from Colombia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 335-358, January.
    14. Belman, Dale. & Wolfson, Paul., 2016. "What does the minimum wage do in developing countries? : A review of studies and methodologies," ILO Working Papers 994893283402676, International Labour Organization.
    15. Betcherman, Gordon, 2014. "Labor market regulations : what do we know about their impacts in developing countries ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6819, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minimum wage;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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