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The Econometrics and Economics of the Employment Effects of Minimum Wages: Getting from Known Unknowns to Known Knowns

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  • David Neumark

Abstract

I discuss the econometrics and the economics of past research on the effects of minimum wages on employment in the United States. My intent is to try to identify key questions raised in the recent literature, and some from the earlier literature, which I think hold the most promise for understanding the conflicting evidence and arriving at a more definitive answer about the employment effects of minimum wages. My secondary goal is to discuss how we can narrow the range of uncertainty about the likely effects of the large minimum wage increases becoming more prevalent in the United States. I discuss some insights from both theory and past evidence that may be informative about the effects of high minimum wages, and try to emphasize what research can be done now and in the near future to provide useful evidence to policymakers on the results of the coming high minimum wage experiment, whether in the United States or in other countries.

Suggested Citation

  • David Neumark, 2018. "The Econometrics and Economics of the Employment Effects of Minimum Wages: Getting from Known Unknowns to Known Knowns," NBER Working Papers 25043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25043
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey Clemens, 2021. "How Do Firms Respond to Minimum Wage Increases? Understanding the Relevance of Non-employment Margins," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
    2. Lev Drucker & Katya Mazirov & David Neumark, 2019. "Who Pays for and Who Benefits from Minimum Wage Increases? Evidence from Israeli Tax Data on Business Owners and Workers," NBER Working Papers 26571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bernardo Fanfani, 2019. "The Employment Effects of Collective Bargaining," Working papers 064, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    4. David Maré & Dean Hyslop, 2021. "Minimum Wages in New Zealand: Policy and practice in the 21st century," Working Papers 21_03, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    5. Monika Köppl-Turyna & Michael Christl & Dénes Kucsera, 2019. "Beschäftigungseffekte von Mindestlöhnen: Die Dosis macht das Gift," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 72(02), pages 40-46, January.
    6. Mario Bossler & Michael Oberfichtner & Claus Schnabel, 2020. "Employment Adjustments Following Rises and Reductions in Minimum Wages: New Insights From a Survey Experiment," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 34(3), pages 323-346, September.
    7. Price V. Fishback & Andrew J. Seltzer, 2021. "The Rise of American Minimum Wages, 1912–1968," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 73-96, Winter.
    8. George L. Wehby & Dhaval M. Dave & Robert Kaestner, 2020. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Infant Health," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(2), pages 411-443, March.
    9. Micheli, Martin, 2020. "It is real: On the relation between minimum wages and labor market outcomes for teenagers," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224597, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. 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.
    11. 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).
    12. Corella Luis F. Munguía, 2020. "Minimum wages in monopsonistic labor markets," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 9(1), pages 1-28, March.
    13. Charles C. Brown & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2019. "Wages and Hours Laws: What Do We Know? What Can Be Done?," NBER Working Papers 25942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Clemens, Jeffrey, 2019. "Making Sense of the Minimum Wage: A Roadmap for Navigating Recent Research," MPRA Paper 94324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Munguia Corella, Luis Felipe, 2020. "Minimum Wages in Monopsonistic Labor Markets," SocArXiv abpj9, Center for Open Science.
    16. George Wehby & Robert Kaestner & Wei Lyu & Dhaval M. Dave, 2020. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Child Health," NBER Working Papers 26691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Simon, Andrew & Wilson, Matthew, 2021. "Optimal minimum wage setting in a federal system," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    18. Bachmann, Ronald & Felder, Rahel & Schaffner, Sandra & Tamm, Marcus, 2018. "Some (Maybe) Unpleasant Arithmetic in Minimum Wage Evaluations: The Role of Power, Significance and Sample Size," IZA Discussion Papers 11867, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Nadler, Carl & Allegretto, Sylvia & Godoey, Anna & Reich, Michael, 2019. "Are Local Minimum Wages Too High? Working Paper #102-19," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt7xt8716f, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    20. Bechlioulis, Alexandros & Chletsos, Michael, 2021. "The differentiated effects of minimum wage reforms on unemployment Evidence from the Greek labor market," MPRA Paper 109327, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Micheli, Martin, 2019. "It is real: On the relation between minimum wages and labor market outcomes for teenagers," Ruhr Economic Papers 829, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    22. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2019. "Minimum Wages and Productivity: Evidence from Japan," Policy Discussion Papers 19015, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    23. David Neumark & Peter Shirley, 2021. "Myth or Measurement: What Does the New Minimum Wage Research Say about Minimum Wages and Job Loss in the United States?," NBER Working Papers 28388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Teresa Backhaus & Kai-Uwe Müller, 2019. "Does the German Minimum Wage Help Low Income Households?: Evidence from Observed Outcomes and the Simulation of Potential Effects," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1805, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    25. Boffy-Ramirez, Ernest, 2019. "The Short-Run Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Labor Market Participation: Evidence from an Individual-Level Panel," IZA Discussion Papers 12137, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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