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The Effects of Multiple Minimum Wages Throughout the Labor Market

Author

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  • Gindling, T. H.

    (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

  • Terrell, Katherine

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of legal minimum wages on wages, employment, hours worked and monthly earnings among workers covered by minimum wage legislation as well as those for whom it does not apply (the uncovered sector) in Costa Rica. This country’s large uncovered sector and complex minimum wage policy, which has for decades set numerous wages throughout the wage distribution, provide a stimulating counterpoint to the U.S. framework for the analysis of the impact of minimum wages. We find that legal minimum wages have a significant positive effect on the wages of workers in the covered sector (with an elasticity of 0.10) but no effect on wages of workers in the uncovered sector. We also find that a 10% increase in minimum wages lowers employment in the covered sector by 1.09% and decreases the average number of hours worked of those who remain in the covered sector by about 0.6%. Finally, we show that despite the wide range of minimum wages, the largest impact on the wages and employment of covered sector workers is in the lower half of the distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Gindling, T. H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2004. "The Effects of Multiple Minimum Wages Throughout the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 1159, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1159
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. World Bank, 2007. "Costa Rica Poverty Assessment : Recapturing Momentum for Poverty Reduction," World Bank Publications - Reports 7678, The World Bank Group.
    3. Phan Kim Dung, 2017. "The effects of minimum wage hikes on employment and wages in Vietnam’s micro, small, and medium enterprises," WIDER Working Paper Series 095, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2010. "Minimum Wages, Globalization, and Poverty in Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 908-918, June.
    5. Alaniz, Enrique & Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2011. "The impact of minimum wages on wages, work and poverty in Nicaragua," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages 45-59.
    6. Haroon Bhorat & Ravi Kanbur & Benjamin Stanwix, 2017. "Minimum Wages in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Primer," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 21-74.
    7. Larrain, Mauricio & Poblete, Joaquin, 2007. "Age-differentiated minimum wages in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 777-797, November.
    8. Boeri, Tito & Garibaldi, Pietro & Ribeiro, Marta, 2010. "Behind the Lighthouse Effect," IZA Discussion Papers 4890, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Andalón, Mabel & Pagés, Carmen, 2008. "Minimum Wages in Kenya," IZA Discussion Papers 3390, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Phan Kim Dung, 2017. "The effects of minimum wage hikes on employment and wages in Vietmam's micro, small, and medium enterprises," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-95, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Long, Cheryl & Yang, Jin, 2016. "How do firms respond to minimum wage regulation in China? Evidence from Chinese private firms," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 267-284.
    12. Nguyen Viet, Cuong, 2010. "The Impact of a Minimum Wage Increase on Employment, Wages and Expenditures of Low-Wage Workers in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 36751, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Aug 2011.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Costa Rica; employment; minimum wages; wages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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