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Minimum Wages, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Employment: Evidence from the Post-Welfare Reform Era

Author

Listed:
  • Neumark, David

    () (University of California, Irvine)

  • Wascher, William

    () (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

We study the effects of minimum wages and the EITC in the post-welfare reform era. For the minimum wage, the evidence points to disemployment effects that are concentrated among young minority men. For young women, there is little evidence that minimum wages reduce employment, with the exception of high school dropouts. In contrast, evidence strongly suggests that the EITC boosts employment of young women (although not teenagers). We also explore how minimum wages and the EITC interact, and the evidence reveals policy effects that vary substantially across different groups. For example, higher minimum wages appear to reduce earnings of minority men, and more so when the EITC is high. In contrast, our results indicate that the EITC boosts employment and earnings for minority women, and coupling the EITC with a higher minimum wage appears to enhance this positive effect. Thus, whether or not the policy combination of a high EITC and a high minimum wage is viewed as favorable or unfavorable depends in part on whose incomes policymakers are trying to increase.

Suggested Citation

  • Neumark, David & Wascher, William, 2007. "Minimum Wages, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Employment: Evidence from the Post-Welfare Reform Era," IZA Discussion Papers 2610, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2610
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    Cited by:

    1. John T. Addison & McKinley L. Blackburn & Chad D. Cotti, 2012. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Labour Market Outcomes: County-Level Estimates from the Restaurant-and-Bar Sector," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 50(3), pages 412-435, September.
    2. Bruce E. Kaufman, 2009. "Promoting Labour Market Efficiency and Fairness through a Legal Minimum Wage: The Webbs and the Social Cost of Labour," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(2), pages 306-326, June.
    3. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2008. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Immigrants' Employment and Earnings," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(4), pages 544-563, July.
    4. Bosch, Gerhard & Weinkopf, Claudia, 2014. "Zur Einführung des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns von 8,50 € in Deutschland," Arbeitspapiere 304, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Düsseldorf.
    5. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2011. "Do Frictions Matter in the Labor Market? Accessions, Separations, and Minimum Wage Effects," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt4t3342nd, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    6. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L. & Cotti, Chad D., 2009. "Do minimum wages raise employment? Evidence from the U.S. retail-trade sector," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 397-408, August.
    7. Caroline Danielson & Deborah Reed & Qian Li & Jay Liao, "undated". "Sanctions and Time Limits in California's Welfare Program," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 09550879b2754a38b32e03488, Mathematica Policy Research.
    8. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L. & Cotti, Chad, 2008. "New Estimates of the Effects of Minimum Wages in the U.S. Retail Trade Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 3597, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. William Scarth & Lei Tang, 2007. "An Evaluation of the Working Income Tax Benefit," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 220, McMaster University.
    10. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2012. "Minimum Wage Shocks, Employment Flows and Labor Market Frictions," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt76p927ks, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    11. Luca Colombo & Paola Labrecciosa & Luca Lambertini, 2008. "Are optimal punishments always optimal?," Working Paper series 01_08, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    12. William Scarth & Lei Tang, 2007. "An Evaluation of the Working Income Tax Benefit," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 424, McMaster University.
    13. repec:wfo:wstudy:60570 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L. & Cotti, Chad, 2008. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Wages and Employment: County-Level Estimates for the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Wolfgang Franz & Wolfgang Wiegard & Beatrice Weder di Mauro, 2008. "Hände weg von Mindestlöhnen," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 61(06), pages 08-12, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    minimum wage; Earned Income Tax Credit; welfare reform; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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