IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ctw/wpaper/201601.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Investigating the Feasibility of a National Minimum Wage for South Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Haroon Bhorat
  • Tara Caetano
  • Benjamin Jourdan
  • Ravi Kanbur
  • Christopher Rooney
  • Benjamin Stanwix
  • Ingrid Woolard

    () (University of Cape Town
    Director and Professor)

Abstract

Part I was completed by the DPRU and is a quantitative analysis of the feasibility of a national minimum wage for South Africa. The DPRU was commissioned by the Department of Labour to provide an analytical and empirical rubric, with which a more informed and nuanced decision could be taken around the promulgation of a NMW for South Africa. In summary, the report recommends that the South African Government consider introducing a NMW to address low wages. However, we argue that critical attention must be given to the design and implementation of the policy so that it achieves the goal of protecting workers, minimizes the potential negative consequences on employment, and ultimately succeeds in improving levels of compliance with legislated wages. Part II was completed by the CSDA and is a qualitative analysis that investigates how a national minimum wage might affect young people’s labour market outcomes in South Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Haroon Bhorat & Tara Caetano & Benjamin Jourdan & Ravi Kanbur & Christopher Rooney & Benjamin Stanwix & Ingrid Woolard, 2016. "Investigating the Feasibility of a National Minimum Wage for South Africa," Working Papers 201601, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:201601
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.dpru.uct.ac.za/sites/default/files/image_tool/images/36/Publications/Working_Papers/DPRU%20WP201601.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2016
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast Food Industry," Working Papers 678, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. Abhijit Banerjee & Sebastian Galiani & Jim Levinsohn & Zoë McLaren & Ingrid Woolard, 2008. "Why has unemployment risen in the New South Africa?1," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(4), pages 715-740, October.
    3. Josh Budlender & Murray Leibbrandt & Ingrid Woolard, 2015. "South African poverty lines: a review and two new money-metric thresholds," SALDRU Working Papers 151, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    4. David Metcalf, 1999. "The British National Minimum Wage," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 37(2), pages 171-201, June.
    5. David Card, 1992. "Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage," Working Papers 680, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Haroon BHORAT & Ravi KANBUR & Natasha MAYET, 2012. "Minimum wage violation in South Africa," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 151(3), pages 277-287, September.
    7. Dinkelman, Taryn & Ranchhod, Vimal, 2012. "Evidence on the impact of minimum wage laws in an informal sector: Domestic workers in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 27-45.
    8. Sylvia Allegretto & Arindrajit Dube & Michael Reich & Ben Zipperer, 2017. "Credible Research Designs for Minimum Wage Studies," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(3), pages 559-592, May.
    9. Jonathan Wadsworth, 2010. "Did the National Minimum Wage Affect UK Prices?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 81-120, March.
    10. Oren M. Levin-Waldman, 1999. "The Rhetorical Evolution of the Minimum Wage," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_280, Levy Economics Institute.
    11. Margherita Comola & Luiz De Mello, 2011. "How Does Decentralized Minimum Wage Setting Affect Employment And Informality? The Case Of Indonesia," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57, pages 79-99, May.
    12. Patricia Jones, 1997. "The impact of minimum wage legislation in developing countries where coverage is incomplete," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1998-02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    13. Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast-Food Industry," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 6-21, October.
    14. Tor Eriksson & Mariola Pytlikova, 2004. "Firm‐level Consequences of Large Minimum‐wage Increases in the Czech and Slovak Republics," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 18(1), pages 75-103, March.
    15. 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.
    16. repec:ilo:ilowps:486283 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl, 2013. "Reservation wages, expected wages and unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(3), pages 276-279.
    18. Nicoli Nattrass & Richard Walker, 2005. "Unemployment And Reservation Wages In Working‐Class Cape Town," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(3), pages 498-509, September.
    19. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1998. "Minimum Wages and Employment in France and the United States," Papiers du Laboratoire de Microéconomie Appliquée 1998-12, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    20. Mariano Bosch & Marco Manacorda, 2010. "Minimum Wages and Earnings Inequality in Urban Mexico," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 128-149, October.
    21. Pauw, Karl & Leibbrandt, Murray, 2012. "Minimum Wages and Household Poverty: General Equilibrium Macro–Micro Simulations for South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 771-783.
    22. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi & Knight, John, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: The Nature of the Beast," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 391-408, March.
    23. Vimal Ranchhod & Arden Finn, 2016. "Estimating the Short Run Effects of South Africa's Employment Tax Incentive on Youth Employment Probabilities using A Difference-in-Differences Approach," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 84(2), pages 199-216, June.
    24. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette & Christian Zehnder, 2009. "A Behavioral Account of the Labor Market: The Role of Fairness Concerns," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 355-384, May.
    25. Vivi Alatas & Lisa A. Cameron, 2008. "The Impact of Minimum Wages on Employment in a Low-Income Country: A Quasi-Natural Experiment in Indonesia," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(2), pages 201-223, January.
    26. Addison, John T & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2001. "Work Councils in Germany: Their Effects on Establishment Performance," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 659-694, October.
    27. Murray, Justin & van Walbeek, Corne, 2007. "Impact of the Sectoral Determination for Farm Workers on the South African Sugar Industry: Case Study of the KwaZulu-Natal North and South Coasts," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 46(1), pages 1-19, March.
    28. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, September.
    29. Juan C. Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382.
    30. Martín Rama, 2001. "The Consequences of Doubling the Minimum Wage: The Case of Indonesia," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 864-881, July.
    31. Sara Lemos, 2004. "Minimum Wage Policy and Employment Effects: Evidence from Brazil," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2004), pages 219-266, August.
    32. Finn, Dan, 2005. "The national minimum wage in the United Kingdom," Graue Reihe des Instituts Arbeit und Technik 2005-01, Institut Arbeit und Technik (IAT), Westfälische Hochschule, University of Applied Sciences.
    33. T. H. Gindling, 2018. "Does increasing the minimum wage reduce poverty in developing countries?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 1-10, November.
    34. Neumark, David & Wascher, William L., 2007. "Minimum Wages and Employment," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 3(1–2), pages 1-182, March.
    35. Pablo Fajnzylber, 2001. "Minimum Wage Effects Throughout the Wage Distribution: Evidence from Brazil's Formal and Informal Sectors," Anais do XXIX Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 29th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 098, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    36. Hyslop, Dean & Stillman, Steven, 2007. "Youth minimum wage reform and the labour market in New Zealand," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 201-230, April.
    37. 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.
    38. 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
    39. Sara Lemos, 2007. "Minimum wage effects across the private and public sectors in Brazil," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 700-720.
    40. Rita Almeida & Pedro Carneiro, 2012. "Enforcement of Labor Regulation and Informality," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 64-89, July.
    41. Jing Wang & Morley Gunderson, 2012. "Minimum wage effects on employment and wages: dif-in-dif estimates from eastern China," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(8), pages 860-876, November.
    42. Metcalf, David, 1999. "The British national minimum wage," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20229, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    43. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Christian Zehnder, "undated". "The Behavioral Effects of Minimum Wages," IEW - Working Papers 247, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    44. Tony Fang & Carl Lin, 2015. "Minimum wages and employment in China," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, December.
    45. Bell, Linda A, 1997. "The Impact of Minimum Wages in Mexico and Colombia," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 102-135, July.
    46. Tom Hertz, 2005. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on the Employment and Earnings of South Africa's Domestic Service Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 05-120, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    47. Ashenfelter, Orley & Smith, Robert S, 1979. "Compliance with the Minimum Wage Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 333-350, April.
    48. David Card, 1992. "Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 22-37, October.
    49. Haroon Bhorat & Ravi Kanbur & Natasha Mayet, 2011. "Estimating the Causal Effect of Enforcement on Minimum Wage Compliance : The Case of South Africa," Working Papers 11145, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    50. Alan B. Krueger, 2015. "The History of Economic Thought on the Minimum Wage," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 533-537, October.
    51. Asep Suryahadi & Wenefrida Widyanti & Daniel Perwira & Sudarno Sumarto, 2003. "Minimum Wage Policy And Its Impact On Employment In The Urban Formal Sector," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 29-50.
    52. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "A Reanalysis of the Effect of the New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase on the Fast-Food Industry with Representative Payroll Data," Working Papers 772, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    53. Hristos Doucouliagos & T. D. Stanley, 2009. "Publication Selection Bias in Minimum‐Wage Research? A Meta‐Regression Analysis," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(2), pages 406-428, June.
    54. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi & Knight, John, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: The Nature of the Beast," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 391-408, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Haroon Bhorat & Safia Khan, 2018. "Structural Change and Patterns of Inequality in the South African Labour Market," Working Papers 201801, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Haroon Bhorat & Ravi Kanbur & Benjamin Stanwix, 2015. "Minimum Wages in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Primer," Working Papers 201503, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    2. Haroon Bhorat & Ravi Kanbur & Benjamin Stanwix, 2017. "Minimum Wages in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Primer," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 21-74.
    3. Neumark, David & Munguía Corella, Luis Felipe, 2021. "Do minimum wages reduce employment in developing countries? A survey and exploration of conflicting evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    4. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," NBER Working Papers 12663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ham, Andrés, 2018. "The Consequences of Legal Minimum Wages in Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 135-157.
    6. Sotomayor, Orlando J., 2021. "Can the minimum wage reduce poverty and inequality in the developing world? Evidence from Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    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. Marlies Piek & Dieter von Fintel, 2020. "Sectoral minimum wages in South Africa: Disemployment by firm size and trade exposure," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 462-482, May.
    9. Gudibande, Rohan Ravindra & Jacob, Arun, 2020. "Minimum wages for domestic workers: impact evaluation of the Indian experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    10. Christopher S Adam & Edward F Buffie, 2020. "The Minimum Wage Puzzle in Less Developed Countries: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 2020/023, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Nidhiya Menon & Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, 2017. "The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Male and Female Employment and Earnings in India," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 34(1), pages 28-64, March.
    12. Meghan J. Millea & Jon P. Rezek & Brian Shoup & Joshua Pitts, 2017. "Minimum Wages in a Segmented Labor Market: Evidence from South Africa," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 335-359, September.
    13. Uma Rani, 2017. "Minimum Wage Policies and Their Effects in Developing Countries: A Comparative Perspective," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 60(1), pages 33-55, March.
    14. 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.
    15. Patrick Belser & Uma Rani, 2015. "Minimum wages and inequality," Chapters, in: Janine Berg (ed.), Labour Markets, Institutions and Inequality, chapter 5, pages 123-146, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Mayneris, Florian & Poncet, Sandra & Zhang, Tao, 2018. "Improving or disappearing: Firm-level adjustments to minimum wages in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 20-42.
    17. Pérez Pérez, Jorge, 2020. "The minimum wage in formal and informal sectors: Evidence from an inflation shock," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    18. World Bank, 2013. "Minimum Wage Policy : Lessons with a Focus on the ASEAN Region," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16687, The World Bank.
    19. Soundararajan, Vidhya, 2019. "Heterogeneous effects of imperfectly enforced minimum wages in low-wage labor markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 355-374.
    20. Freeman, Richard B., 2010. "Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Dani Rodrik & Mark Rosenzweig (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 4657-4702, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:201601. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Waseema Petersen). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dpuctza.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.