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The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Prices

  • Sara lemos

    ()

It is well established in the international literature that minimum wage increases compress the wages distribution. Firms respond to these higher labour costs by reducing employment, reducing profits, or raising prices. While there are hundreds of studies on the employment effect of the minimum wage, there is less than a handful studies on its profit effects, and only a couple of dozen studies on its price effects. Not only is the literature scanty on the minimum wage price effects, but also it lacks a survey on that. This survey represents an important contribution to the literature because it summarizes and critically compares over twenty price effect studies, providing a benchmark in the literature. This survey further contributes to the literature by offering an input to the recent debate over the direction of employment effects of the minimum wage. With employment and profits not significantly affected, higher prices is an obvious response to a minimum wage increase. Moreover, this survey also contributes to the literature by extending the current understanding on the minimum wage as a policy against inequality and poverty. If the minimum wage does not cause disemployment but causes inflation, it might hurt rather than aid the poor, who disproportionately suffer from inflation.

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File URL: http://www.le.ac.uk/economics/research/RePEc/lec/leecon/dp04-7.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Leicester in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 04/7.

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Date of creation: Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:04/7
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics University of Leicester, University Road. Leicester. LE1 7RH. UK
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Fax: +44 (0)116 252 2908
Web page: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/economics
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  1. Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast Food Industry," Working Papers 678, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1996. "How Precise are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Working Papers 5477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1996. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 5862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert J. Gordon, 1975. "The Impact of Aggregate Demand on Prices," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(3), pages 613-670.
  5. Timothy J. Besley & Harvey S. Rosen, 1998. "Sales Taxes and Prices: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 6667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Frye, Jon & Gordon, Robert J, 1981. "Government Intervention in the Inflation Process: The Econometrics of "Self-Inflicted Wounds"," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 288-94, May.
  8. James M. MacDonald & Daniel Aaronson, 2000. "How do retail prices react to minimum wage increases?," Working Paper Series WP-00-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. Daniel Aaronson & Eric French, 2007. "Product Market Evidence on the Employment Effects of the Minimum Wage," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 167-200.
  10. Gron, Anne & Swenson, Deborah L, 1996. "Incomplete Exchange-Rate Pass-Through and Imperfect Competition: The Effect of Local Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 71-76, May.
  11. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler & J. David Lopez-Salido, 2001. "European Inflation Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 8218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Jiawen Yang, 1997. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through In U.S. Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 95-104, February.
  14. 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.
  15. Lee, Chinkook & O'Roark, Brian, 1999. "The Impact of Minimum Wage Increases on Food and Kindred Product Prices: An Analysis of Price Pass-Through," Technical Bulletins 184373, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  16. 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.
  17. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jaewoo Lee, 1997. "The Response Of Exchange Rate Pass-Through To Market Concentration In A Small Economy: The Evidence From Korea," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 142-145, February.
  19. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen, 1986. "Unemployment in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S121-69, Supplemen.
  20. Layard, P. R. G. & Nickell, S. J., 1985. "Unemployment, real wages, and aggregate demand in Europe, Japan and the United States," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 143-202, January.
  21. 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.
  22. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Tax Incidence," NBER Working Papers 1864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 1043-1092 Elsevier.
  23. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer, 1988. "The New Keynsesian Economics and the Output-Inflation Trade-off," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 1-82.
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