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Anticipated Effects of the Minimum Wage on Prices

  • Sara Lemos


There is little empirical evidence on the effect of minimum wage increases on prices, particularly for developing countries. This paper estimates this effect using monthly Brazilian household and firm data over 18 years. As minimum wage increases in Brazil are large, frequent and affect a sizable fraction of the labor force, they affect aggregate prices. Because of this expected price effect, rational agents may take such increases as a signal for future price and wage bargains. Indeed, robust results indicate that the minimum wage raises overall prices not only on the month of the increase, but also in the two months before.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Leicester in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 04/25.

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Date of creation: Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:04/25
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  2. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
  3. 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.
  4. Poterba, James M., 1996. "Retail Price Reactions to Changes in State and Local Sales Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(2), pages 165-76, June.
  5. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1992. "Minimum Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0080, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning & Lupin Rahman, 2003. "Where the Minimum Wage Bites Hard: Introduction of Minimum Wages to a Low Wage Sector," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 154-180, 03.
  7. Sara lemos, 2004. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Prices," Discussion Papers in Economics 04/7, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  8. Edward M. Gramlich, 1976. "Impact of Minimum Wages on Other Wages, Employment, and Family Incomes," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(2), pages 409-462.
  9. Daniel Aaronson, 2001. "Price Pass-Through And The Minimum Wage," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 158-169, February.
  10. Weiss, Y., 1992. "Inflation and price Adjustment : A Susvey of Findings from Micro-Data," Papers 3-92, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  11. Jaehwan Park & Ronald Ratti, 1998. "Stationary data and the effect of the minimum wage on teenage employment," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 435-440.
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