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Work-related Training and the New National Minimum Wage in Britain

  • Arulampalam, Wiji

    (University of Warwick)

  • Alison L Booth
  • Mark L Bryan

In this paper we use important new training and wage data from the British Household Panel Survey to estimate the impact of the national minimum wage (introduced in April 1999) on the work-related training of low-wage workers. We use two 'treatment groups' for estimating the impact of the new minimum wage those workers who explicitly stated they were affected by the new minimum and those workers whose derived 1998 wages were below the minimum. Using difference-in-differences techniques for the period 1998 to 2000, we find no evidence that the introduction of the minimum wage reduced the training of affected workers, and some evidence that it increased it. In particular we find a significant positive effect of about 8 to 11% for affected workers. Consequently our findings can be interpreted as providing no evidence in support of the orthodox human capital model as it applies to work-related training, and some evidence in support of the new theories based on imperfectly competitive labour markets. Our estimates also suggest that two of the goals of the UK government: improving wages of the low paid and developing their skills have been compatible, at least for the introductory rates of the national minimum wage.

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Paper provided by Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 with number 9.

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Date of creation: 04 Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2003:9
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  1. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," NBER Working Papers 6357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Mark B. Stewart, 2004. "The Impact of the Introduction of the U.K. Minimum Wage on the Employment Probabilities of Low-Wage Workers," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(1), pages 67-97, 03.
  5. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1999. "Minimum Wages and On-the-Job Training," CEPR Discussion Papers 2177, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Sherwin Rosen, 1972. "Learning and Experience in the Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 7(3), pages 326-342.
  7. 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.
  8. Alan Manning & Ted To, 2002. "Oligopsony and Monopsonistic Competition in Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 155-174, Spring.
  9. Stewart, Mark B, 1990. "Union Wage Differentials, Product Market Influences and the Division of Rents," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1122-37, December.
  10. Hashimoto, Masanori, 1982. "Minimum Wage Effects on Training on the Job," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1070-87, December.
  11. Chang, Chun & Wang, Yijiang, 1996. "Human Capital Investment under Asymmetric Information: The Pigovian Conjecture Revisited," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 505-19, July.
  12. Booth, Alison L & Zoega, Gylfi, 1999. "Do Quits Cause Under-Training?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 374-86, April.
  13. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1997. "On-the-Job Training," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ojt, March.
  14. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
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