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Minimum Wages in Kenya

Author

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  • Andalón, Mabel

    () (University of Melbourne)

  • Pagés, Carmen

    () (Inter-American Development Bank)

Abstract

This paper examines the performance of minimum wage legislation in Kenya, both in terms of its coverage and enforcement as well as in terms of their implications for wages and employment. Our findings based on the 1998/99 labor force data – the last labor force survey available – indicate that minimum wages, which, in principle, apply to all salaried employees, were better enforced and had stronger effects in the non-agricultural industry than in the agricultural one. More specifically, our results suggest that (i) compliance rates were higher in occupations other than agriculture, (ii) minimum wages were positively associated with wages of low-educated workers and women in non-agricultural activities, while no such relationship is found for workers in agriculture, and (iii) higher minimum wages were associated with a lower share of workers in formal activities in a given occupation and location. Our estimates indicate that a 10 percent point increase in the minimum to median wage ratio could be associated with a decline in the share of formal employment of between 1.2-5.6 percentage points and an increase of between 2.7-5.9 points in the share of self-employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Andalón, Mabel & Pagés, Carmen, 2008. "Minimum Wages in Kenya," IZA Discussion Papers 3390, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3390
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
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    3. Haroon Bhorat, 2000. "Are Wage Adjustments an Effective Mechanism for Poverty Alleviation?: Some Simulations for Domestic and Farm Workers," Working Papers 00041, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    4. Dickens, Richard & Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1999. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on Employment: Theory and Evidence from Britain," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 1-22, January.
    5. Patricia Jones, 1997. "The impact of minimum wage legislation in developing countries where coverage is incomplete," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1998-02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Sara Lemos, 2004. "Minimum Wage Policy and Employment Effects: Evidence from Brazil," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2004), pages 219-266, August.
    7. David Neumark & Mark E. Schweitzer & William L. Wascher, 1999. "The effects of minimum wages throughout the wage distribution," Working Paper 9919, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised Feb 2000.
    8. Kevin Cowan & Alejandro Micco & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Labor Market Adjustment in Chile," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2004), pages 183-218, August.
    9. Oren M. Levin-Waldman, 1997. "Linking the Minimum Wage to Productivity," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_219, Levy Economics Institute.
    10. Stephen Devereux, 2005. "Can minimum wages contribute to poverty reduction in poor countries?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(7), pages 899-912.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. N Fiess & M Fugazza & WF Maloney, 2006. "Informal Labor Markets and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Working Papers 2006_17, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    2. Ravi KANBUR & Lucas RONCONI & Leigh WEDENOJA, 2013. "Labour law violations in Chile," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 152(3-4), pages 431-444, December.
    3. Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler, 2009. "Labor Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in Developing Countries: Evidence from Colombia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 335-358, January.
    4. Haroon Bhorat & Ravi Kanbur & Benjamin Stanwix, 2017. "Minimum Wages in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Primer," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 21-74.
    5. Thomas Farole & Megha Mukim, 2013. "Manufacturing Export Competitiveness in Kenya : A Policy Note on Revitalizing and Diversifying Kenya's Manufacturing Sector," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16993, The World Bank.
    6. 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.
    7. Nidhiya Menon & Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, 2017. "The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Male and Female Employment and Earnings in India," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 34(1), pages 28-64, March.
    8. Arias, Omar & Blom, Andreas & Bosch, Mariano & Cunningham, Wendy & Fiszbein, Ariel & Lopez Acevedo, Gladys & Maloney, William & Saavedra, Jaime & Sanchez-Paramo, Carolina & Santamaria, Mauricio & Siga, 2005. "Pending issues in protection, productivity growth, and poverty reduction," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3799, The World Bank.
    9. Richard B. Freeman, 2009. "Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries: Market distortions or Efficient Institutions?," NBER Working Papers 14789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2003. "The labor market effects of payroll taxes in a middle-income country: evidence from Colombia," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0306, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    11. Haroon Bhorat & Ravi Kanbur & Benjamin Stanwix, 2014. "Estimating the Impact of Minimum Wages on Employment, Wages, and Non-Wage Benefits: The Case of Agriculture in South Africa," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1402-1419.
    12. Mark McGillivray & Farhad Noorbakhsh, "undated". "Aid, Conflict and Human Development," Working Papers 2007_03, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    13. World Bank, 2009. "Kenya - Poverty and Inequality Assessment : Executive Summary and Synthesis Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3081, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    minimum wages; employment; Kenya; wage;

    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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