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Industry Dynamics and the Minimum Wage: A Putty-Clay Approach

Author

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  • Aaronson, Daniel
  • French, Eric Baird
  • Sorkin, Isaac

Abstract

We document three new findings about the industry-level response to minimum wage hikes. First, restaurant exit and entry both rise following a hike. Second, the rise in entry and exit is concentrated in chains. Third, there is no change in employment among continuing restaurants. We develop a model of industry dynamics based on putty-clay technology and show that it is consistent with these findings. In the model, continuing restaurants cannot change employment, and thus industry-level adjustment occurs through exit of labor-intensive restaurants and entry of capital-intensive ones. We show these three findings are inconsistent with other models of industry dynamics.

Suggested Citation

  • Aaronson, Daniel & French, Eric Baird & Sorkin, Isaac, 2016. "Industry Dynamics and the Minimum Wage: A Putty-Clay Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 11097, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11097
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Huang, Yi & Loungani, Prakash & Wang, Gewei, 2014. "Minimum wages and firm employment: evidence from China," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 173, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
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    4. Neumark, David & Salas, J.M. Ian & Wascher, William, 2013. "Revisiting the Minimum Wage-Employment Debate: Throwing Out the Baby with the Bathwater?," IZA Discussion Papers 7166, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. William Wascher & David Neumark, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1362-1396, December.
    6. Emek Basker & Muhammad Taimur Khan, 2016. "Does the Minimum Wage Bite into Fast-Food Prices?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 129-148, June.
    7. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne & Stanger, Shuchita, 1999. "The Highs and Lows of the Minimum Wage Effect: A Time-Series Cross-Section Study of the Canadian Law," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 318-350, April.
    8. Isaac Sorkin, 2015. "Are There Long-Run Effects of the Minimum Wage?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(2), pages 306-333, April.
    9. R. Kaj Gittings & Ian M. Schmutte, 2016. "Getting Handcuffs on an Octopus," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 69(5), pages 1133-1170, October.
    10. Rohlin, Shawn M., 2011. "State minimum wages and business location: Evidence from a refined border approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 103-117, January.
    11. Acemoglu, Daron & Hawkins, William B., 2014. "Search with multi-worker firms," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(3), September.
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    13. repec:fth:prinin:298 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Arindrajit Dube & T. William Lester & Michael Reich, 2010. "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 945-964, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey Clemens, 2015. "The Minimum Wage and the Great Recession: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," NBER Working Papers 21830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jeffrey Clemens & Michael R. Strain, 2017. "Estimating the Employment Effects of Recent Minimum Wage Changes: Early Evidence, an Interpretative Framework, and a Pre-Commitment to Future Analysis," NBER Working Papers 23084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Dara Lee Luca & Michael Luca, 2017. "Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit," Harvard Business School Working Papers 17-088, Harvard Business School, revised Aug 2018.
    4. Brian Bell & Stephen Machin, 2018. "Minimum Wages and Firm Value," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 159-195.
    5. David Neumark & JM Salas & William Wascher, 2014. "More on recent evidence on the effects of minimum wages in the United States," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-26, December.
    6. Reich, Michael & West, Rachel, 2015. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on Food Stamp Enrollment and Expenditures," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt0wh9z8x4, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    7. Daniel Aaronson & Brian Phelan, 2016. "Wage Shocks and the Technological Substitution of Low-Wage Jobs," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 17-266, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    8. Clemens, Jeffrey & Strain, Michael R., 2018. "Minimum Wage Analysis Using a Pre-Committed Research Design: Evidence through 2016," IZA Discussion Papers 11427, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    employment; industry dynamics; minimum wage; putty-clay;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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