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The Effects of the Minimum Wage in Brazil on the Distribution of Family Incomes: 1996-2001

  • David Neumark

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • Wendy Cunningham

    (World Bank)

  • Lucas Siga

    (World Bank)

The Brazilian economy has long relied on the minimum wage, having first implemented a minimum in 1940. Shortly after taking office in 2003, Brazil’s President raised the minimum wage by 20 percent and promised to double the value of the minimum wage before his term ends in 2006. The usual rationale for minimum wage increases is to bring about beneficial changes in the income distribution, by raising incomes of poor and low-income families. The goal of this paper is to evaluate the efficacy of the minimum wage in Brazil in bringing about these changes in the income distribution. We examine data drawn from Brazil’s major metropolitan areas, studying the years after Brazil’s hyper-inflation ended. The estimates provide no evidence that minimum wages in Brazil lift family incomes at the lower points of the income distribution; if anything some of the evidence points to adverse effects on lower-income families.

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File URL: http://www.economics.uci.edu/files/docs/workingpapers/2005-06/Neumark-27.pdf
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Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 050627.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Development Economics, 2006, vol. 80, issue 1, pages 136-159.
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:050627
Contact details of provider: Postal: Irvine, CA 92697-3125
Phone: (949) 824-5788
Web page: http://www.economics.uci.edu/

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  1. David Neumark & Mark Schweitzer & William Wascher, 1998. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on the Distribution of Family Incomes: A Non-Parametric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 6536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Maloney, William F. & Nunez, Jairo & Cunningham, Wendy & Fiess, Norbert & Montenegro, Claudio & Murrugarra, Edmundo & Santamaria,Mauricio & Sepulveda, Claudia, 2001. "Measuring the impact of minimum wages : evidence from Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2597, The World Bank.
  3. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
  4. Ricardo Paes de Barros & Carlos Henrique Corseuil & Miguel N. Foguel & Philippe G. Leite, 2001. "Uma avaliação dos impactos do salário mínimo sobre o nível de pobreza metropolitana no Brasil," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 2(1), pages 47-71, January-J.
  5. Charles Brown & Curtis Gilroy & Andrew Kohen, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 0846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Sara Lemos, 2004. "A Menu of Minimum Wage Variables for Evaluating Wages and Employment Effects: Evidence from Brazil," Discussion Papers in Economics 04/3, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  7. David Neumark & DMark Schweitzer & DaWilliam Wascher, 2004. "Minimum Wage Effects throughout the Wage Distribution," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  8. Neri, Marcelo Cortes, 2002. "Decent Work and the Informal Sector in Brazil," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 461, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  9. Gonzaga, Gustavo & Camargo, José Márcio & Neri, Marcelo Cortes, 2000. "Efeitos Informais Do Salário Mínimo E Pobreza," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 372, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  10. Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Peter Lanjouw & Marcelo Neri, 2001. "A New Poverty Profile For Brazil Using PPV, PNAD And Census Data," Anais do XXIX Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 29th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 100, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  11. James Heckman & Carmen Pages, 2003. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Working Papers 10129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Richard V. Burkhauser & Kenneth A. Couch & David C. Wittenburg, 1996. "Who gets what from minimum wage hikes: A re-estimation of Card and Krueger's distributional analysis in "Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage."," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(3), pages 547-552, April.
  13. Gabriel Ulyssea & Miguel N. Foguel, 2006. "Efeitos do Salário Mínimo Sobre o Mercado de Trabalho Brasileiro," Discussion Papers 1168, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  14. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, June.
  15. Brown, Charles, 1999. "Minimum wages, employment, and the distribution of income," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 32, pages 2101-2163 Elsevier.
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