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The Tail of Two Countries: Minimum Wages and Employment in France and the United States

  • Abowd, John M.

    ()

    (Cornell University)

  • Kramarz, Francis

    ()

    (CREST (ENSAE))

  • Margolis, David N.

    ()

    (Paris School of Economics)

  • Philippon, Thomas

    ()

    (New York University)

We use longitudinal individual wage and employment data in France and the United States to investigate the effect of changes in the real minimum wage rate on an individual’s employment status. We focus on workers employed at wages close enough to the minimum in a reference year as to be illegal in an adjacent comparison year as a result of movements in the real minimum wage. We find that movements in the American real minimum wage are associated with no employment effects, whereas movements in the cost of French minimum wage workers are associated with very strong negative employment effects. Our analysis is based upon identifying the direct effect of the change in the real minimum wage rate on exits from (entry into) employment when the real minimum wage rate increases (respectively, decreases) and identifying the heterogeneity in the behavior of our treatment and control groups using a pseudo-experimental contrast. We relate the difference-in-difference estimator directly to demand and supply elasticities for the two groups.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 203.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp203
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  1. Abowd, John M & Corbel, Patrick & Kramarz, Francis, 1997. "The Entry and Exit of Workers and the Growth of Employment: An Analysis of French Establishments," CEPR Discussion Papers 1765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Kramarz, Francis & Philippon, Thomas, 2000. "The Impact of Differential Payroll Tax Subsidies on Minimum Wage Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 219, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1992. "Employment Effects of Minimum and Subminimum Wages: Panel Data on State Minimum Wage Laws," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 55-81, October.
  4. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "A Reanalysis of the Effect of the New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase on the Fast-Food Industry with Representative Payroll Data," NBER Working Papers 6386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," Working Papers 694, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1992. "Minimum Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0080, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. William J. Carrington & Bruce C. Fallick, 1999. "Minimum wage careers?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "Minimum Wages and Employment in France and the United States," NBER Working Papers 6996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux & David N. Margolis, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Youth Employment in France and the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 427-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. David Margolis & Denis Fougère, 2000. "Moduler les cotisations employeurs à l'assurance-chômage : les expériences de bonus-malus aux Etats-Unis," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 15(2), pages 3-76.
  12. 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.
  13. Welch, Finis, 1997. "Wages and Participation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S77-103, January.
  14. John M. Abowd & Michael Bognanno, 1995. "International Differences in Executive and Managerial Compensation," NBER Chapters, in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 67-104 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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