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Getting It Right: Employment Subsidy or Minimum Wage?

Author

Listed:
  • Strobl, Eric

    () (Aix-Marseille University)

  • Walsh, Frank

    () (University College Dublin)

Abstract

In monopsony models of the labour market either a minimum wage or an employment subsidy financed by a lump sum tax on profits can achieve the efficient level of employment and output. Incorporating working conditions into a monopsony model where higher wages raise firm labour supply, but less attractive working conditions reduce it, changes these policy implications. Specifically, a minimum wage policy could, in contrast to an employment subsidy, cause working conditions to deteriorate and welfare to fall. Empirical evidence from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago shows that a minimum wage may indeed cause working conditions to worsen.

Suggested Citation

  • Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2002. "Getting It Right: Employment Subsidy or Minimum Wage?," IZA Discussion Papers 662, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp662
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brown, Charles, 1999. "Minimum wages, employment, and the distribution of income," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 32, pages 2101-2163 Elsevier.
    2. Salop, Steven C, 1979. "A Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 117-125, March.
    3. De Fraja, Gianni, 1999. "Minimum Wage Legislation, Productivity and Employment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(264), pages 473-488, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Kenneth A. Couch & David C. Wittenburg, 2001. "The Response of Hours of Work to Increases in the Minimum Wage," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(1), pages 171-177, July.
    6. 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 257-273, May.
    7. Rebitzer, James B. & Taylor, Lowell J., 1995. "The consequences of minimum wage laws Some new theoretical ideas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 245-255.
    8. William M. Boal & Michael R. Ransom, 1997. "Monopsony in the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 86-112, March.
    9. Bhaskar, V & To, Ted, 1999. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 190-203, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2007. "Estimating the shirking model with variable effort," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 623-637, June.
    2. Magda E. Kandil & Genevieve M Lindow & Mario Mansilla & Joel Chiedu Okwuokei & Jochen M. Schmittmann & Qiaoe Chen & Xin Li & Marika Santoro & Solomon Stavis, 2014. "Labor Market Issues in the Caribbean; Scope to Mobilize Employment Growth," IMF Working Papers 14/115, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    minimum wage; working conditions; monopsony models;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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