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New Estimates of the Effects of Minimum Wages in the U.S. Retail Trade Sector

Author

Listed:
  • Addison, John T.

    () (University of South Carolina)

  • Blackburn, McKinley L.

    () (University of South Carolina)

  • Cotti, Chad

    () (University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh)

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of minimum wages on earnings and employment in selected branches of the retail-trade sector, 1990-2005, using county-level data on employment and a panel regression framework that allows for county-specific trends in sectoral outcomes. We focus on particular subsectors within retail trade that are identified as particularly low-wage. We find little evidence of disemployment effects once we allow for geographic-specific trends. Rather, in many sectors the evidence suggests modest (but robust) positive employment effects. One explanation we consider for these ‘perverse’ effects is that minimum wages may have significant influences on product demand shifts.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3597
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast-Food Industry," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 6-21, October.
    2. David Card, 1992. "Do Minimum Wages Reduce Employment? A Case Study of California, 1987–89," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 38-54, October.
    3. 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.
    4. John T. Addison & McKinleyl Blackburn, 1999. "Minimum Wages and Poverty," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(3), pages 393-409, April.
    5. Kim, Taeil & Taylor, Lowell J, 1995. "The Employment Effect in Retail Trade of California's 1988 Minimum Wage Increase," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 175-182, April.
    6. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, January.
    7. 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.
    8. Peter F. Orazem & J. Peter Mattila, 2002. "Minimum Wage Effects on Hours, Employment, and Number of Firms: The Iowa Case," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 23(1), pages 3-23, January.
    9. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1995. "The Effect of New Jersey's Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-Food Employment: A Re-Evaluation Using Payroll Records," NBER Working Papers 5224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Daniel Aaronson & Eric French & James MacDonald, 2008. "The Minimum Wage, Restaurant Prices, and Labor Market Structure," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 688-720.
    11. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2011. "Does a Higher Minimum Wage Enhance the Effectiveness of the Earned Income Tax Credit?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(4), pages 712-746, July.
    12. 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).
    13. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    14. Deere, Donald & Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1995. "Employment and the 1990-1991 Minimum-Wage Hike," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 232-237, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ignacio Tavares ARAUJO JR & Paulo AGUIAR DO MONTE, "undated". "The Wage Cost of Unemployment Duration: Evidences for the Brazilian Economy," EcoMod2010 259600010, EcoMod.
    2. Fernando Borraz & Nicolás González-Pampillón, 2017. "Assessing the distributive effects of minimum wage," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 1081-1112, November.
    3. Fernando Borraz & Nicolás Gonzalez Pampillón, 2011. "Assessing the Distributive Impact of More than Doubling the Minimum Wage: The Case of Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1711, Department of Economics - dECON.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    right-to-work states; minimum wages; wages and employment; county-level data; unions; spatial trends; border county analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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