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Minimum Wage Increases in a Soft U.S. Economy

  • Addison, John T.

    (Department of Economics, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA and Institute for Advances Studies, Vienna)

  • Blackburn, McKinley L.

    (Department of Economics, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA)

  • Cotti, Chad D.

    (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, USA)

Do apparently large minimum wage increases in an environment of straightened economic circumstances produce clearer evidence of disemployment effects than is typically reported in the new economics of the minimum wage? The present paper augments the sparse literature covering the very latest increases in the U.S. minimum wage, using three different data sets and the principal estimation strategies for handling geographically-disparate trends. Despite the seemingly more favorable milieu for identifying displacement effects, and although our treatment calls into question one well-received estimation strategy, our preferred specification generally fails to support a finding of negative employment effects. That is to say, minimum-wage workers are apparently concentrated in sectors of the economy for which the labor demand response to statutory wage hikes is minimal. Popular concern with a “recessionary multiplier” thus seems overdone.

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File URL: http://www.ihs.ac.at/publications/eco/es-273.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Paper provided by Institute for Advanced Studies in its series Economics Series with number 273.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ihs:ihsesp:273
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  1. Dube, Andrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2010. "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt86w5m90m, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  2. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2011. "Does a Higher Minimum Wage Enhance the Effectiveness of the Earned Income Tax Credit?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(4), pages 712-746, July.
  3. John T. Addison & McKinley L. Blackburn & Chad D. Cotti, 2012. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Labour Market Outcomes: County-Level Estimates from the Restaurant-and-Bar Sector," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 50(3), pages 412-435, 09.
  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. David Card, 1992. "Using regional variation in wages to measure the effects of the federal minimum wage," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 22-37, October.
  6. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L. & Cotti, Chad D., 2009. "Do minimum wages raise employment? Evidence from the U.S. retail-trade sector," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 397-408, August.
  7. Allegretto, Sylvia & Dube, Arindrajit & Reich, Michael, 2010. "Do Minimum Wages Really Reduce Teen Employment? Accounting for Heterogeneity and Selectivity in State Panel Data," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt7jq2q3j8, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
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