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A Cross-National Analysis of the Effects of Minimum Wages on Youth Employment

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  • David Neumark
  • William Wascher

Abstract

We estimate the employment effects of changes in national minimum wages using a pooled cross-section time-series data set comprising sixteen OECD countries for the period 1975-1997. We pay particular attention to the impact of cross-country differences in minimum wage systems and in other labor market institutions and policies that may either reduce or amplify the effects of minimum wages. Overall, our results generally are consistent with the view that minimum wages cause employment losses among youth. However, the evidence also suggests that the employment effects of minimum wages vary considerably across countries. Disemployment effects of minimum wages appear to be smaller when there are subminimum wages for youths, while, in the longer run at least, minimum wages set by collective bargaining may entail more deleterious employment effects. We also find that government policies restricting employers' ability to adjust nonpecuniary characteristics of jobs (such as hours restrictions or work rules) tend to exacerbate the negative effects of minimum wages on youth employment, while countries with active labor market policies designed to bring non-employed individuals into the work force tend to exhibit smaller disemployment effects from minimum wages.

Suggested Citation

  • David Neumark & William Wascher, 1999. "A Cross-National Analysis of the Effects of Minimum Wages on Youth Employment," NBER Working Papers 7299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7299
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    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.
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    7. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne & Stanger, Shuchita, 1999. "The Highs and Lows of the Minimum Wage Effect: A Time-Series Cross-Section Study of the Canadian Law," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 318-350, April.
    8. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 1995. "Reconciling the evidence on employment effects of minimum wages: a review of our research findings," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-53, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Cited by:

    1. Cecil Mlatsheni & Sandrine Rospabé, 2002. "An Analysis of the Spatial Distribution of the Clothing and Textile Industry in SADC," Working Papers 02065, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    2. Angel-Urdinola, Diego F. & Kuddo, Arvo, 2010. "Key characteristics of employment regulation in the Middle East and North Africa," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 55674, The World Bank.
    3. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 106-144, January.
    4. repec:eco:journ2:2017-02-25 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Juan J. Dolado & Florentino Felgueroso & Juan F. Jimeno, 2000. "The Role of the Minimum Wage in the Welfare State: An Appraisal," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 136(III), pages 223-245, September.
    6. Dario Sciulli & Marcello Signorelli, 2010. "University-to-work transitions: the case of Perugia," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 77/2010, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia.
    7. Olga Demidova & Marcello Signorelli, 2010. "The Impact of Crises on Youth Unemployment of Russian Regions: An Empirical Analysis," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 78/2010, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia.
    8. Cristiano Perugini & Marcello Signorelli, 2010. "Youth labour market performance in European regions," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 151-185, May.
    9. Schröder, Lena, 2004. "The role of youth programmes in the transition from school to work," Working Paper Series 2004:5, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    10. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "The Determinants of Unemployment across OECD Countries," Post-Print halshs-00120584, HAL.
    11. Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der Gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung (ed.), 2006. "Arbeitslosengeld II reformieren: Ein zielgerichtetes Kombilohnmodell. Expertise im Auftrag des Bundesministers für Wirtschaft und Technologie," Occasional Reports / Expertisen, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, number 75364.
    12. Loïc Cadiou & Julien Genet & Jean-Louis Guérin, 2002. "Évolutions démographiques et marché du travail : des liens complexes parfois contradictoires," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 355(1), pages 139-156.
    13. Vink, N & Tregurtha, N, 2003. "A Theoretical Perspective On A Minimum Wage In South African Agriculture," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 0(Issue 1).

    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

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