IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/26101.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Minimum Wage Employment Effects and Labor Market Concentration

Author

Listed:
  • José Azar
  • Emiliano Huet-Vaughn
  • Ioana Marinescu
  • Bledi Taska
  • Till von Wachter

Abstract

Why is the employment effect of the minimum wage frequently found to be close to zero? Theory tells us that when wages are below marginal productivity, as with monopsony, employers are able to increase wages without laying off workers, but systematic evidence directly supporting this explanation is lacking. In this paper, we provide empirical support for the monopsony explanation by studying a key low-wage retail sector and using data on labor market concentration that covers the entirety of the United States with fine spatial variation at the occupation-level. We find that more concentrated labor markets – where wages are more likely to be below marginal productivity – experience significantly more positive employment effects from the minimum wage. While increases in the minimum wage are found to significantly decrease employment of workers in low concentration markets, minimum wage-induced employment changes become less negative as labor concentration increases, and are even estimated to be positive in the most highly concentrated markets. Our findings provide direct empirical evidence supporting the monopsony model as an explanation for the near-zero minimum wage employment effect documented in prior work. They suggest the aggregate minimum wage employment effects estimated thus far in the literature may mask heterogeneity across different levels of labor market concentration.

Suggested Citation

  • José Azar & Emiliano Huet-Vaughn & Ioana Marinescu & Bledi Taska & Till von Wachter, 2019. "Minimum Wage Employment Effects and Labor Market Concentration," NBER Working Papers 26101, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26101
    Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w26101.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sylvia Allegretto & Arindrajit Dube & Michael Reich & Ben Zipperer, 2017. "Credible Research Designs for Minimum Wage Studies," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(3), pages 559-592, May.
    2. Tor Eriksson & Mariola Pytlikova, 2004. "Firm‐level Consequences of Large Minimum‐wage Increases in the Czech and Slovak Republics," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 18(1), pages 75-103, March.
    3. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
    4. David Neumark & JM Salas & William Wascher, 2014. "More on recent evidence on the effects of minimum wages in the United States," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-26, December.
    5. Manning, Alan, 2011. "Imperfect Competition in the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 11, pages 973-1041, Elsevier.
    6. Joseph J. Sabia & Richard V. Burkhauser & Benjamin Hansen, 2012. "Are the Effects of Minimum Wage Increases Always Small? New Evidence from a Case Study of New York State," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(2), pages 350-376, April.
    7. Azar, José & Marinescu, Ioana & Steinbaum, Marshall & Taska, Bledi, 2020. "Concentration in US labor markets: Evidence from online vacancy data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    8. Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan & Rahman, Lupin, 2002. "Where the minimum wage bites hard: the introduction of the UK national minimum wage to a low wage sector," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20070, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Brad Hershbein & Lisa B. Kahn, 2018. "Do Recessions Accelerate Routine-Biased Technological Change? Evidence from Vacancy Postings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(7), pages 1737-1772, July.
    10. John T. Addison & McKinley L. Blackburn & Chad D. Cotti, 2012. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Labour Market Outcomes: County-Level Estimates from the Restaurant-and-Bar Sector," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 50(3), pages 412-435, September.
    11. Bell, Linda A, 1997. "The Impact of Minimum Wages in Mexico and Colombia," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 102-135, July.
    12. Pereira, Sonia C., 2003. "The impact of minimum wages on youth employment in Portugal," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 229-244, April.
    13. David Card, 1992. "Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 22-37, October.
    14. Janet Currie & Bruce C. Fallick, 1996. "The Minimum Wage and the Employment of Youth Evidence from the NLSY," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 404-428.
    15. Jonathan Meer & Jeremy West, 2016. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 500-522.
    16. Clemens, Jeffrey & Wither, Michael, 2019. "The minimum wage and the Great Recession: Evidence of effects on the employment and income trajectories of low-skilled workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 53-67.
    17. 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(1), pages 167-200.
    18. Peter Harasztosi & Attila Lindner, 2019. "Who Pays for the Minimum Wage?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(8), pages 2693-2727, August.
    19. Frank Walsh, 2003. "Comment on 'minimum wages for ronald mcdonald monopsonies: a theory of monopsonistic competition'," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 718-722, July.
    20. David Card, 1992. "Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage," Working Papers 680, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    21. José Azar & Ioana Marinescu & Marshall Steinbaum, 2022. "Labor Market Concentration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 57(S), pages 167-199.
    22. David Neumark & Olena Nizalova, 2007. "Minimum Wage Effects in the Longer Run," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
    23. Tony Fang & Carl Lin, 2015. "Minimum wages and employment in China," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, December.
    24. Bhaskar, V & To, Ted, 1999. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 190-203, April.
    25. repec:fth:prinin:300 is not listed on IDEAS
    26. Laura Giuliano, 2013. "Minimum Wage Effects on Employment, Substitution, and the Teenage Labor Supply: Evidence from Personnel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 155-194.
    27. Arindrajit Dube & T. William Lester & Michael Reich, 2010. "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 945-964, November.
    28. David Deming & Lisa B. Kahn, 2018. "Skill Requirements across Firms and Labor Markets: Evidence from Job Postings for Professionals," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 337-369.
    29. David Card, 1992. "Do Minimum Wages Reduce Employment? A Case Study of California, 1987–89," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 38-54, October.
    30. Kim, Taeil & Taylor, Lowell J, 1995. "The Employment Effect in Retail Trade of California's 1988 Minimum Wage Increase," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 175-182, April.
    31. Modestino, Alicia Sasser & Shoag, Daniel & Ballance, Joshua, 2016. "Downskilling: changes in employer skill requirements over the business cycle," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 333-347.
    32. José Azar & Ioana Marinescu & Marshall Steinbaum, 2019. "Measuring Labor Market Power Two Ways," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 109, pages 317-321, May.
    33. Joseph Sabia, 2009. "The Effects of Minimum Wage Increases on Retail Employment and Hours: New Evidence from Monthly CPS Data," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 75-97, March.
    34. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1992. "Employment Effects of Minimum and Subminimum Wages: Panel Data on State Minimum Wage Laws," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 55-81, October.
    35. 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, March.
    36. Alan Manning & Ted To, 2002. "Oligopsony and Monopsonistic Competition in Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 155-174, Spring.
    37. Burkhauser, Richard V & Couch, Kenneth A & Wittenburg, David C, 2000. "A Reassessment of the New Economics of the Minimum Wage Literature with Monthly Data from the Current Population Survey," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 653-680, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. David Neumark & Peter Shirley, 2022. "Myth or measurement: What does the new minimum wage research say about minimum wages and job loss in the United States?," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 384-417, October.
    2. Dale Belman & Paul Wolfson & Kritkorn Nawakitphaitoon, 2015. "Who Is Affected by the Minimum Wage?," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 582-621, October.
    3. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," NBER Working Papers 12663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Neumark David, 2019. "The Econometrics and Economics of the Employment Effects of Minimum Wages: Getting from Known Unknowns to Known Knowns," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 20(3), pages 293-329, August.
    5. Garcia-Louzao, Jose & Tarasonis, Linas, 2023. "Wage and Employment Impact of Minimum Wage: Evidence from Lithuania," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 592-609.
    6. Laporsek, Suzana & Orazem, Peter F. & Vodopivec, Matija & Vodopivec, Milan, 2019. "Long-Term Responses to Large Minimum Wage Shocks: Sub-Minimum and Super-Minimum Workers in Slovenia," IZA Discussion Papers 12123, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. David Slichter, 2023. "The employment effects of the minimum wage: A selection ratio approach to measuring treatment effects," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 38(3), pages 334-357, April.
    8. Sebastian Link, 2019. "The Price and Employment Response of Firms to the Introduction of Minimum Wages," CESifo Working Paper Series 7575, CESifo.
    9. Otterby, Dawn & Crawley, Andrew & Gabe, Todd, 2023. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on U.S. County Labor Markets," MPRA Paper 116162, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Doruk Cengiz & Arindrajit Dube & Attila Lindner & Ben Zipperer, 2019. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Low-Wage Jobs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 134(3), pages 1405-1454.
    11. János Köllö, 2010. "Hungary: The Consequences of Doubling the Minimum Wage," Chapters, in: Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead (ed.), The Minimum Wage Revisited in the Enlarged EU, chapter 8, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Jonathan Meer & Jeremy West, 2016. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 500-522.
    13. Clemens, Jeffrey & Wither, Michael, 2019. "The minimum wage and the Great Recession: Evidence of effects on the employment and income trajectories of low-skilled workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 53-67.
    14. Cengiz, Doruk & Dube, Arindrajit & Lindner, Attila & Zipperer, Ben, 2018. "The effect of minimum wages on low-wage jobs: evidence from the United States using a bunching estimator," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88682, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Brewer, Mike & Crossley, Thomas F. & Zilio, Federico, 2019. "What Do We Really Know about the Employment Effects of the UK's National Minimum Wage?," IZA Discussion Papers 12369, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Lei Xu & Yu Zhu, 2023. "Does the employment effect of national minimum wage vary by non‐employment rate? A regression discontinuity approach," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 91(1), pages 18-36, January.
    17. 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).
    18. Lordan, Grace & Neumark, David, 2018. "People versus machines: The impact of minimum wages on automatable jobs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 40-53.
    19. Yonezawa, Koichi & Gómez, Miguel I. & McLaughlin, Edward W., 2022. "Impacts of Minimum Wage Increases in the US Retail Sector: Full-Time versus Part-Time Employment," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 47(2), May.
    20. Ekaterina Jardim & Mark C. Long & Robert Plotnick & Emma van Inwegen & Jacob Vigdor & Hilary Wething, 2017. "Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle," NBER Working Papers 23532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26101. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.