Living Wage Laws: How Much Do (Can) They Matter?
In this paper I review what we have learned about living wage laws and their impacts on the wages, employment and poverty rates of low-wage workers. I review the characteristics of these laws and where they have been implemented to date, and what economic theory tells us about their likely effects in more and less competitive labor markets. I then review two bodies of empirical evidence: 1) Studies across cities or metropolitan areas that have and have not implemented these laws, using data from the Current Population Survey pooled over many years; and 2) Studies within particular cities, based on comparisons of covered and uncovered workers before and after the laws are passed. I conclude that living wage laws have modestly raised wage levels of low wage workers and have reduced their employment at covered firms, but that the magnitudes of both effects are likely quite small, given how few workers are usually covered by these ordinances.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lawrence F. Katz, 1986.
"Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation,"
NBER Working Papers
1906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Scott Adams & David Neumark, 2004.
"The Economic Effects of Living Wage Laws: A Provisional Review,"
NBER Working Papers
10562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Scott Adams & David Neumark, 2004. "The Economic Effects of Living Wage Laws: A Provisional Review," PPIC Working Papers 2004.10, Public Policy Institute of California.
- Scott Adams & David Neumark, 2005.
"Living Wage Effects: New and Improved Evidence,"
Economic Development Quarterly,
, vol. 19(1), pages 80-102, February.
- Robert Pollin & Jeannette Wicks-Lim & Mark D. Brenner, 2002. "Measuring the Impact of Living Wage Laws: A Critical Appraisal of David Neumark's How Living Wage Laws Affect Low-Wage Workers and Low-Income Families," Working Papers wp43, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
- David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, June.
- Johnson, Harry G & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1970. "The Effects of Unionization on the Distribution of Income: A General Equilibrium Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 539-61, November.
- Mincer, Jacob, 1976. "Unemployment Effects of Minimum Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S87-104, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3781. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.