The Economic Effects of Living Wage Laws: A Provisional Review
Nearly 100 cities and local governments in the United States have passed living wage laws since the mid-1990s. Although the central goal of living wages is to reduce poverty, they may fail to do so because of disemployment effects. We summarize and critique the existing research on the effects of living wages on wages, employment, and family income, emphasizing common findings, points of disagreement, and important questions for future research. The evidence thus far points to wage increases as well as employment losses for the least-skilled, although there is disagreement about the employment effects. On balance, there are some beneficial distributional effects. The evidence also points to efficiency wage-type effects of living wage laws that may offset some of the adverse effects on employers.
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|Date of creation:||Jun 2004|
|Date of revision:|
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- Timothy J. Bartik, 2002. "Thinking about Local Living Wage Requirements," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 02-76, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
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"Do Living Wage Ordinances Reduce Urban Poverty?,"
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"Living Wages: Protection For or Protection From Low-Wage Workers?,"
NBER Working Papers
8393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- Reich, Michael & Hall, Peter & Jacobs, Ken, 2003. "Living Wage Policies at San Francisco Airport:: Impacts on Workers and Businesses," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt8km9s5m7, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
- David Neumark & Mark E. Schweitzer & William L. Wascher, 2004.
"The effects of minimum wages on the distribution of family incomes: a nonparametric analysis,"
0412, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- David Neumark & Mark Schweitzer & William Wascher, 2005. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on the Distribution of Family Incomes: A Nonparametric Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 867-894.
- David Neumark & Mark Schweitzer & William Wascher, 1998. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on the Distribution of Family Incomes: A Non-Parametric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 6536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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