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The cleansing effect of minimum wages. Minimum wages, firm dynamics and aggregate productivity in China

Author

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  • MAYNERIS, Florian

    (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE & IRES, Belgium)

  • PONCET, Sandra

    (Paris School of Economics (University of Paris 1), CEPII and FERDI)

  • ZHANG, Tao

    (Shangai University of International Business and Economics)

Abstract

We here consider how Chinese firms adjust to higher minimum wages and how these affect aggregate productivity, exploiting the 2004 minimum-wage reform in China. We find that higher city-level minimum wages reduced the survival probability of firms which were the most exposed to the reform. For the surviving firms, thanks to significant productivity gains, wage costs rose without any negative employment effect. At the city-level, our results show that higher minimum wages affected aggregate productivity growth via both productivity growth in incumbent firms and the net entry of more productive firms. Hence, in a fast-growing economy like China, there is a cleansing effect of labor-market standards.

Suggested Citation

  • MAYNERIS, Florian & PONCET, Sandra & ZHANG, Tao, 2014. "The cleansing effect of minimum wages. Minimum wages, firm dynamics and aggregate productivity in China," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2014044, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2014044
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    Cited by:

    1. Victor Stolzenburg & Daria Taglioni & Deborah Winkler, 2019. "Economic upgrading through global value chain participation: which policies increase the value-added gains?," Chapters, in: Stefano Ponte & Gary Gereffi & Gale Raj-Reichert (ed.), Handbook on Global Value Chains, chapter 30, pages 483-505, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Clement Imbert & Marlon Seror & Yifan Zhang & Stephan Yanos Zylberberg, 2018. "Migrants and Firms: Evidence from China," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 19/713, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    3. Belman, Dale. & Wolfson, Paul J., 2016. "What does the minimum wage do in developing countries? : A review of studies and methodologies," ILO Working Papers 994893283402676, International Labour Organization.
    4. Lemoine, Françoise & Poncet, Sandra & Ünal, Deniz, 2015. "Spatial rebalancing and industrial convergence in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 39-63.
    5. Howell, Anthony, 2020. "Minimum wage impacts on Han-minority Workers’ wage distribution and inequality in urban china," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    6. Christian Dreger & Reinhold Kosfeld & Yanqun Zhang, 2019. "Determining Minimum Wages In China: Do Economic Factors Dominate?," Review of Urban & Regional Development Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1-2), pages 44-59, March.
    7. David Neumark & Luis Felipe Munguia Corella, 2019. "Do Minimum Wages Reduce Employment in Developing Countries? A Survey and Exploration of Conflicting Evidence," NBER Working Papers 26462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Stijn Broecke & Alessia Forti & Marieke Vandeweyer, 2017. "The effect of minimum wages on employment in emerging economies: a survey and meta-analysis," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 366-391, July.
    9. Chung-Khain Wye & Elya Nabila Abdul Bahri, 2021. "How does employment respond to minimum wage adjustment in China?," The Economic and Labour Relations Review, , vol. 32(1), pages 90-114, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    minimum wages; firm-level performance; aggregate TFP; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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