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Models of Firm Behavior Under Minimum Wage Legislation

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  • David E. Bloom
  • Gilles Grenier

Abstract

This paper sets out three simple models of firm behavior under minimum wage legislation. The key feature of these models is that they account for important aspects of the government's mechanism for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the minimum wage law. The major results of the paper are (1) that minimum wage legislation does not generally lead to upward movements along labor demand curves but rather, that it often leads to movements off, and to the left, of the labor demand curve; (2) that minimum wage legislation is likely to have a positive effect on the distribution of wages paid to workers who would earn less than the minimum in the absence of the legislation, but is not likely to bring all of those workers up to the minimum; and (3) that imposing additional penalties on second offenders promotes compliance by firms with no previous violations. The paper considers the implications of these results for empirical work on the adverse employment effects of minimum wage legislation andfor the design of government compliance mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. Bloom & Gilles Grenier, 1986. "Models of Firm Behavior Under Minimum Wage Legislation," NBER Working Papers 1877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1877 Note: LS
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grenier, Gilles, 1982. "On Compliance with the Minimum Wage Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 184-187, February.
    2. Chang, Yang-Ming & Ehrlich, Isaac, 1985. "On the Economics of Compliance with the Minimum Wage Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 84-91, February.
    3. Ashenfelter, Orley & Smith, Robert S, 1979. "Compliance with the Minimum Wage Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 333-350, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dinkelman, Taryn & Ranchhod, Vimal, 2012. "Evidence on the impact of minimum wage laws in an informal sector: Domestic workers in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 27-45.
    2. Glied, Sherry & Stabile, Mark, 2001. "Avoiding health insurance crowd-out: evidence from the medicare as secondary payer legislation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 239-260, March.
    3. Yaniv, Gideon, 2006. "On the employment effect of noncompliance with the minimum wage law," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 557-564, December.

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