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Location decisions and Minimum Wages

  • Isabelle Méjean


    (CEPII, 9 rue G. Pitard, 75015 Paris, France)

  • Lise Patureau


    (THEMA, University of Cergy-Pontoise, 33, boulevard du Port, 95011 Cergy-Pontoise Cedex, France)

The paper contributes to the living debate on the controversial effects of minimum wage policy on economic performances, focusing on its impact on firms’ location choice. The question is investigated through a theoretical model, that incorporates features from the new trade literature (Krugman (1991)) and the labor-market literature. In a two-country framework, we model endogenous entry of firms under wage rigidity. In this setting, the impact of an unilateral increase in the home country’s minimum wage is analyzed. The policy shock is shown to have a twofold influence on the relative attractiveness of the home country, simultaneously affecting its relative cost competitiveness and the aggregate demand addressed to firms. Both effects do not necessarily go in the same direction, hence the final effect on firms’ location decisions is ambiguous. We show that it notably depends on the adjustments that occur on the skilled and unskilled labor markets. Our overall results suggest that the design of labor-market policies should take into account their impact on firms’ location decisions, if willing to evaluate their whole consequences in the national economy.

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Paper provided by THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise in its series THEMA Working Papers with number 2008-06.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2008-06
Contact details of provider: Postal: 33, boulevard du port - 95011 Cergy-Pontoise Cedex
Phone: 33 1 34 25 60 63
Fax: 33 1 34 25 62 33
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  1. Richard Dickens & Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1994. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on Employment: Theory and Evidence from Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0183, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. David L. Hummels & Georg Schaur, 2013. "Time as a Trade Barrier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2935-59, December.
  3. Dolado, Juan J. & Felgueroso, Florentino & Jimeno, Juan F, 2000. "The Role Of The Minimum Wage In The Welfare State: An Appraisal," CEPR Discussion Papers 2452, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  5. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 1999. "Job Protection, Minimum Wage and Unemployment," Working Papers 99-38, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1999. "Discriminating Among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 7164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alan Manning, 1994. "How do we Know that Real Wages are Too High?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0195, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Francis Kramarz & Thomas Philippon, 2000. "The Impact of Differenctial Payroll Tax Subsidies on Minimum Wage Employment," Working Papers 2000-10, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  9. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1994. "Industrial Location and Public Infrastructure," CEPR Discussion Papers 909, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  11. Laroque, Guy & Salanié, Bernard, 1999. "Breaking Down Married Female Non-Employment in France," CEPR Discussion Papers 2239, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1996. "Employment and the Introduction of a Minimum Wage in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 667-76, May.
  13. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Mariana Spatareanu, 2005. "Do Foreign Investors Care about Labor Market Regulations?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(3), pages 375-403, October.
  14. Portugal, Pedro & Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2002. "Disentangling the Minimum Wage Puzzle: An Analysis of Worker Accessions and Separations," IZA Discussion Papers 544, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," 2004 Meeting Papers 530, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. repec:fth:inseep:9931 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 1996. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Labor and Demography 9603001, EconWPA, revised 21 May 1996.
  18. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Steve Golub & Dana Hajkova & Daniel Mirza & Kwang-Yeol Yoo, 2003. "Policies and International Integration: Influences on Trade and Foreign Direct Investment," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 359, OECD Publishing.
  19. Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa, 2005. "Firms' location decision across asymmetric countries and employment inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 299-320, February.
  20. Cahuc, P. & Michel, P., 1992. "Minimum Wage, Unemployment and Growth," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 92.35, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  21. Picard, Pierre M. & Toulemonde, Eric, 2001. "The Impact of Labor Markets on Emergence and Persistence of Regional Asymmetries," IZA Discussion Papers 248, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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