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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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    Cited by:

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    2. Angel-Urdinola, Diego F. & Kuddo, Arvo, 2010. "Key characteristics of employment regulation in the Middle East and North Africa," Social Protection Discussion Papers and 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. Faik Bilgili & Ilhan Ozturk & Emrah Kocak & Umit Bulut, 2017. "Energy Consumption-Youth Unemployment Nexus in Europe: Evidence from Panel Cointegration and Panel Causality Analyses," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 7(2), pages 193-201.
    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, 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, March.
    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. 42(1).

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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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