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The Role of the Minimum Wage in the Welfare State: An Appraisal

  • Dolado, Juan J.

    ()

    (European University Institute)

  • Felgueroso, Florentino

    ()

    (Universidad de Oviedo)

  • Jimeno, Juan F.

    ()

    (Bank of Spain)

In order to offer a balanced assessment of the role of minimum wages in the Welfare State, seven basic questions need to be answered: (i) Why is the minimum wage a useful redistributive tool?; (ii) How binding are minimum wage floors in different countries?; (iii) To what extent do minimum wages have the adverse consequences that standard analysis predict?; (iv) Are there strong theoretical grounds underlying the revisionist results?; (v) Who supports minimum wages?; (vi) Under which conditions is the minimum wage a better tool than other policy instruments to achieve income redistribution?; and, finally, (vii) What is the overall cross-country time-series evidence regarding the employment effect of the minima? The aim of this paper is to provide an appraisal on the available evidence for each of the above-mentioned issues.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 152.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: May 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Nationalökonomie und Statistik / Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 136 (2000), 1-33
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp152
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  1. Calvo, Guillermo A & Wellisz, Stanislaw, 1979. "Hierarchy, Ability, and Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 991-1010, October.
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  3. 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.
  4. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," NBER Working Papers 4509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Rebitzer, James B. & Taylor, Lowell J., 1995. "The consequences of minimum wage laws Some new theoretical ideas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 245-255, February.
  7. Bhaskar, V & To, Ted, 1999. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 190-203, April.
  8. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-44, September.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 6740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. John Kennan, 1995. "The Elusive Effects of Minimum Wages," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1950-1965, December.
  11. Alan Manning, 1994. "How do we Know that Real Wages are Too High?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0195, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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  14. repec:dgr:kubcen:1999119 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Ioannides, Yannis M & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Monopsony and the Lifetime Relation between Wages and Productivity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 91-100, January.
  16. Cahuc, Pierre & Michel, Philippe, 1996. "Minimum wage unemployment and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1463-1482, August.
  17. Demsetz, Harold, 1973. "Industry Structure, Market Rivalry, and Public Policy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-9, April.
  18. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1999. "A Cross-National Analysis of the Effects of Minimum Wages on Youth Employment," NBER Working Papers 7299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Gilles Saint-Paul, 1994. "Do Labor Market Rigidities Fulfill Distributive Objectives?: Searching for the Virtues of the European Model," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 41(4), pages 624-642, December.
  20. Kenneth Burdett & Dale T. Mortensen, 1989. "Equilibrium Wage Differentials and Employer Size," Discussion Papers 860, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  21. Allen, Stephen P, 1987. "Taxes, Redistribution, and the Minimum Wage: A Theoretical Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 477-89, August.
  22. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1992. "Minimum Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0080, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  23. Metcalf, David, 1999. "The Low Pay Commission and the National Minimum Wage," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F46-66, February.
  24. 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.
  25. Freeman, Richard B, 1996. "The Minimum Wage as a Redistributive Tool," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 639-49, May.
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