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The Impact of Introducing a Minimum Wage on Business Cycle Volatility; A Structural Analysis for Hong Kong SAR


  • International Monetary Fund


We study the impact of a minimum wage on business cycle volatility, depending upon its coverage and adjustment mechanism. As with other small open economies, Hong Kong SAR is vulnerable to external shocks, with its exchange rate regime precluding active monetary policy. Adjustment to past shocks has relied on flexible domestic prices. We find that a minimum wage affecting 20 percent of employees would amplify output volatility by 0.2 percent to 9.2 percent, and employment volatility by ?1.2 percent to 7.8 percent. A fixed wage or indexation to consumption price inflation increases volatility most. Indexation to wage inflation or unit labor cost growth is preferable, largely preserving labor market flexibility.

Suggested Citation

  • International Monetary Fund, 2008. "The Impact of Introducing a Minimum Wage on Business Cycle Volatility; A Structural Analysis for Hong Kong SAR," IMF Working Papers 08/285, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/285

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    2. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
    3. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    4. Klein, Paul, 2000. "Using the generalized Schur form to solve a multivariate linear rational expectations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1405-1423, September.
    5. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bamikole, Oluwafemi, 2013. "The Impact of Minimum Wage on Average Earnings in the Caribbean using Two-Selected Countries, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica (1980-2011 and 1997-2011)," MPRA Paper 57363, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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