IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effect of New Jersey's Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-Food Employment: A Re-Evaluation Using Payroll Records


  • David Neumark
  • William Wascher


We re-evaluate the evidence from Card and Krueger's (1994) New Jersey-Pennsylvania minimum wage experiment, using new data based on actual payroll records from 230 Burger King, KFC, Wendy's, and Roy Rogers restaurants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We compare results using these payroll data to those using CK's data, which were collected by telephone surveys. We have two findings to report. First, the data collected by CK appear to indicate greater employment variation over the eight-month period between their surveys than do the payroll data. For example, in the full sample the standard deviation of employment change in CK's data is three times as large as that in the payroll data. Second, estimates of the employment effect of the New Jersey minimum wage increase from the payroll data lead to the opposite conclusion from that reached by CK. For comparable sets of restaurants, differences-in-differences estimates using CK's data imply that the New Jersey minimum wage increase (of 18.8 percent) resulted in an employment increase of 17.6 percent relative to the Pennsylvania control group, an elasticity of 0.93. In contrast, estimates based on the payroll data suggest that the New Jersey minimum wage increase led to a 4.6 percent decrease in employment in New Jersey relative to the Pennsylvania control group. This decrease is statistically significant at the five-percent level and implies an elasticity of employment with respect to the minimum wage of -0.24.

Suggested Citation

  • David Neumark & William Wascher, 1995. "The Effect of New Jersey's Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-Food Employment: A Re-Evaluation Using Payroll Records," NBER Working Papers 5224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5224
    Note: LS

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1993. "Employment effects of minimum and subminimum wages: reply to Card, Katz, and Krueger," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 144, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Alan B. Krueger & David Card, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1397-1420, December.
    2. Bosch, Gerhard & Weinkopf, Claudia, 2014. "Zur Einführung des gesetzlichen Mindestlohns von 8,50 € in Deutschland," Arbeitspapiere 304, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Düsseldorf.
    3. M. Perlman & K. Couch & K. Laski & G. Tillmann & T. Asada & D. Hands, 1995. "Book reviews," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 62(1), pages 93-109, February.
    4. Martín Rama, 2001. "The Consequences of Doubling the Minimum Wage: The Case of Indonesia," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 864-881, July.
    5. Thomas R. Michl, 2000. "Can Rescheduling Explain the New Jersey Minimum Wage Studies?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 265-276, Summer.
    6. Peter F. Orazem & J. Peter Mattila, 2002. "Minimum Wage Effects on Hours, Employment, and Number of Firms: The Iowa Case," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 23(1), pages 3-23, January.
    7. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L. & Cotti, Chad, 2008. "New Estimates of the Effects of Minimum Wages in the U.S. Retail Trade Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 3597, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Luttmer Erzo F.P., 2007. "Does the Minimum Wage Cause Inefficient Rationing?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-42, October.
    9. Malena Arcidiácono, 2015. "Salario Mínimo y Distribución salarial: Evidencia para Argentina 2003 – 2013," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0192, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    10. Daniel Fairchild, 2004. "Does the minimum wage help the poor?," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 31-42, September.
    11. 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.
    12. Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "Single Peaked Vs. Diversified Capitalism: The Relation Between Economic Institutions and Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L. & Cotti, Chad, 2008. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Wages and Employment: County-Level Estimates for the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Don Bellante & Gabriel Picone, 1999. "Fast food and unnatural experiments: Another perspective on the New Jersey minimum wage," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 463-477, December.
    15. David Holland & Sanjoy Bhattacharjee & Leroy Stodick, 2006. "Assessing the Economic Impact of Minimum Wage Increases on the Washington Economy: A General Equilibrium Approach," Working Papers 2006-12, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
    16. 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.
    17. Rohan Ravindra Gudibande & Arun Jacob, 2014. "Minimum Wage Law for Domestic Workers: Impact Evaluation of the Indian Experience," CFD Working Papers 05-2015, Centre for Finance and Development, The Graduate Institute, revised 07 Apr 2015.

    More about this item

    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


    Access and download statistics


    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:5224. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.