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Time-Series Evidence of the Effect of the Minimum Wage on Youth Employment and Unemployment

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  • Charles Brown
  • Curtis Gilroy
  • Andrew Kohen

Abstract

While previous time series studies have quite consistently found that the minimum wage reduces teenage employment, the extent of this reduction is much less certain. Moreover, because few previous studies report results of more than one specification, the causes of differences in estimated impacts are not well understood. Less consensus is evident on the effect of the minimum wage on teenage unemployment, or its relative impact on black and white teenagers. The purpose of this paper is both to update earlier work and to analyze the sensitivity of estimated minimum wage effects to alternative specification choices. In addition to providing estimates of the effect of minimum wage increases on aggregate employment and unemployment rates of teenagers, we explore several related issues: the relative importance of changing the level and coverage of the minimum wage; the timing of responses to a change in the minimum; effects on part-time and full-time work; effects on young adults (age 20-24).

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Brown & Curtis Gilroy & Andrew Kohen, 1981. "Time-Series Evidence of the Effect of the Minimum Wage on Youth Employment and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 0790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0790 Note: LS
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moore, Thomas Gale, 1971. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Teenage Unemployment Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 897-902, July-Aug..
    2. 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.
    3. Mincer, Jacob, 1976. "Unemployment Effects of Minimum Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 87-104, August.
    4. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1982. "Minimum Wages and the Demand for Labor," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(3), pages 365-380, July.
    5. 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.
    6. Betsey, Charles L & Dunson, Bruce H, 1981. "Federal Minimum Wage Laws and the Employment of Minority Youth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 379-384, May.
    7. Ragan, James F, Jr, 1977. "Minimum Wages and the Youth Labor Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(2), pages 129-136, May.
    8. Adie, Douglas K, 1973. "Teen-Age Unemployment and Real Federal Minimum Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 435-441, Part I, M.
    9. John F. Boschen & Herschel I. Grossman, 1981. "The Federal Minimum Wage, Inflation, and Employment," NBER Working Papers 0652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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