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Disentangling the Minimum Wage Puzzle: An Analysis of Worker Accessions and Separations

  • Portugal, Pedro

    ()

    (Banco de Portugal)

  • Cardoso, Ana Rute

    ()

    (IAE Barcelona (CSIC))

Changes in the legislation in the mid-80s in Portugal provide remarkably good conditions for analysis of the employment effects of mandatory minimum wages, as the minimum wage increased sharply for a very specific group of workers. Relying on a matched employer employee panel data set, we model gross worker flows - accessions and separations - in continuing firms, as well as in new firms and those going out of business, using a count regression model applied to proportions. Employment trends for teenagers, the affected group, are contrasted to those of older workers, before and after the raise in the youth minimum wage. The major effect on teenagers of a rising minimum wage is the reduction of separations from the employer, which compensates for the reduction of accessions to new and continuing firms. In this sense, our results can reconcile some of the previous evidence that has been presented in the empirical literature when analyzing the aggregate impact of the minimum wage on youth employment without decomposing it by type of worker flow.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 544.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2006, 4 (5), 988-1013. Reprinted in J. T. Addison (ed.) Recent Developments in Labor Economics, Vol. I, UK, 2007, 179-204
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp544
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  1. Linneman, Peter, 1982. "The Economic Impacts of Minimum Wage Laws: A New Look at an Old Question," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 443-69, June.
  2. Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "The effect of the minimum wage on the fast-food industry," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 6-21, October.
  3. 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.
  4. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  5. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  6. Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1996. "Employment and the Introduction of a Minimum Wage in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 667-76, May.
  7. Cahuc, P. & Saint-Martin, A. & Zylberberg, A., 2001. "The consequences of the minimum wage when other wages are bargained over," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 337-352, February.
  8. Meyer, Robert H & Wise, David A, 1983. "Discontinuous Distributions and Missing Persons: The Minimum Wage and Unemployed Youth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1677-98, November.
  9. 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..
  10. Mark B. Stewart, 2004. "The Impact of the Introduction of the U.K. Minimum Wage on the Employment Probabilities of Low-Wage Workers," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(1), pages 67-97, 03.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Bruce D. Meyer, 1994. "Natural and Quasi- Experiments in Economics," NBER Technical Working Papers 0170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Dickens, Richard & Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1998. "Estimating the effect of minimum wages on employment from the distribution of wages: A critical view," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 109-134, June.
  15. Robert H. Meyer & David A. Wise, 1982. "The Effects of the Minimum Wage on the Employment and Earnings of Youth," NBER Working Papers 0849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Janet Currie & Bruce C. Fallick, 1996. "The Minimum Wage and the Employment of Youth Evidence from the NLSY," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 404-428.
  17. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1995. "Minimum wage effects on school and work transitions of teenagers," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-7, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Lang, Kevin & Kahn, Shulamit, 1998. "The effect of minimum-wage laws on the distribution of employment: theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 67-82, July.
  19. Alan B. Krueger & David Card, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1397-1420, December.
  20. William Wascher & David Neumark, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1362-1396, December.
  21. Burkhauser, Richard V & Couch, Kenneth A & Wittenburg, David C, 2000. "A Reassessment of the New Economics of the Minimum Wage Literature with Monthly Data from the Current Population Survey," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 653-80, October.
  22. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis & Margolis, David N. & Philippon, Thomas, 2000. "The Tail of Two Countries: Minimum Wages and Employment in France and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 203, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. Berg, G.J. & Ridder, G., 1993. "An empirical equilibrium search model of the labour market," Serie Research Memoranda 0039, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  24. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1994. "Minimum Wage Effects on Employment and School Enrollment," NBER Working Papers 4679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. David Neumark, 1999. "The Employment Effects of Recent Minimum Wage Increases: Evidence from a Pre-specified Research Design," NBER Working Papers 7171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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