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A Menu of Minimum Wage Variables for Evaluating Wages and Employment Effects: Evidence from Brazil

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  • Sara Lemos

Abstract

The international literature on minimum wage greatly lacks empirical evidence from developing countries. Brazil’s minimum wage policy is a distinctive and central feature of the Brazilian economy. Not only are increases in the minimum wage large and frequent but also the minimum wage has been used as an anti-inflation policy in addition to its social role. This study estimates the effects of the minimum wage on both wages and employment using panel data techniques and Brazilian monthly household data from 1982 to 2000 at individual and regional levels. A number of conceptual and identification questions is discussed, for example: (1) Various strategies on how to best measure the effect of a constant (national) minimum wage are summarized in a “menu” of minimum wage variables and used to estimate wage and employment effects. (2) An employment decomposition that separately estimates the effect of the minimum wage on hours worked and on the number of jobs is used. Robust results indicate that an increase in the minimum wage strongly compresses the wages distribution with moderately small adverse effects on employment.

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  • Sara Lemos, 2004. "A Menu of Minimum Wage Variables for Evaluating Wages and Employment Effects: Evidence from Brazil," Discussion Papers in Economics 04/3, Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester.
  • Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:04/3
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    2. Melanie Khamis, 2013. "Does the minimum wage have a higher impact on the informal than on the formal labour market? Evidence from quasi-experiments," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(4), pages 477-495, February.
    3. Manoel BITTENCOURT, 2009. "Macroeconomic Performance And Inequality: Brazil, 1983–94," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 47(1), pages 30-52, March.
    4. Neumark, David & Cunningham, Wendy & Siga, Lucas, 2006. "The effects of the minimum wage in Brazil on the distribution of family incomes: 1996-2001," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 136-159, June.
    5. Calavrezo, Oana & Pelek, Selin, 2011. "Qui sont les salariés payés au niveau du salaire minimum? Une analyse empirique à partir de données turques," GIAM Working Papers 11-2, Galatasaray University Economic Research Center, revised 13 Feb 2011.
    6. M. Kemal Biçerli & Merve Kocaman, 2019. "The Impact Of Minimum Wage On Unemployment, Prices, And Growth: A Multivariate Analysis For Turkey," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 64(221), pages 65-84, April – J.
    7. David Neumark & Luis Felipe Munguia Corella, 2019. "Do Minimum Wages Reduce Employment in Developing Countries? A Survey and Exploration of Conflicting Evidence," NBER Working Papers 26462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Neumark, David & Munguía Corella, Luis Felipe, 2021. "Do minimum wages reduce employment in developing countries? A survey and exploration of conflicting evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    9. Groisman, Fernando & Boffi, Santiago & Calero, Analía & Cuba, María Soledad & Liniado, Julia & Sconfienza, María Eugenia & Vergara Parra, Albano, 2015. "Social protection to the informal sector: the role of minimum wage and income transfer policies," MPRA Paper 72822, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Fitriya & Abdul Basyith & Rabin Ibnu Zainal, 2020. "The Doubled-Edge Sword of Raising the Minimum Wage: The Case of Indonesia," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 10(12), pages 1453-1465, December.
    11. Baensch Laura & Lanzalot Maria Laura & Stucchi Rodolfo & Lotti Giulia, 2019. "Do Labor Market Regulations Affect the Link between Innovation and Employment? Evidence from Latin America," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 1-13, July.
    12. Sotomayor, Orlando J., 2021. "Can the minimum wage reduce poverty and inequality in the developing world? Evidence from Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    13. Boeri, Tito & Garibaldi, Pietro & Ribeiro, Marta, 2010. "Behind the Lighthouse Effect," IZA Discussion Papers 4890, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Gudibande, Rohan Ravindra & Jacob, Arun, 2020. "Minimum wages for domestic workers: impact evaluation of the Indian experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    15. Tito Boeri & Jan van Ours, 2013. "The Economics of Imperfect Labor Markets: Second Edition," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10142.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    minimum wage; wage effect; employment effect; informal sector; public sector; Brazil;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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