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Minimum wages and wage structure in Mexico

  • Fairris, David
  • Popli, Gurleen
  • Zepeda, Eduardo

Instead of merely setting a lower bound on the wages of formal sector workers, minimum wages serve as a norm for wage setting more generally throughout the Mexican economy. Our results suggest that wages are commonly set at multiples of the minimum wage, and that changes in minimum wages influence wage changes across the occupational distribution. Moreover, our findings suggest that these normative features of minimum wages have their greatest impact on the mid-to-lower tail of the wage distribution, including the informal sector of the economy. Thus, the results lend support to the view that declining real minimum wages and stabilization programs that strengthened the link between wage levels, wage changes, and minimum wages, might account for a portion of the growing wage inequality in Mexico over the period of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 400.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision: 2006
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:400
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  1. William Maloney & Jairo Mendez, 2004. "Measuring the Impact of Minimum Wages. Evidence from Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 109-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Zadia M. Feliciano, 1998. "Does the Minimum Wage Affect Employment in Mexico?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 165-180, Spring.
  3. Castellanos, Sara G. & Garcia-Verdu, Rodrigo & Kaplan, David S., 2004. "Nominal wage rigidities in Mexico: evidence from social security records," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 507-533, December.
  4. Pagan,Adrian & Ullah,Aman, 1999. "Nonparametric Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521355643.
  5. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
  6. Robert Prasch & Falguni Sheth, 1999. "The Economics and Ethics of Minimum Wage Legislation," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 57(4), pages 466-487.
  7. David Neumark & Mark Schweitzer & William Wascher, 2000. "The Effects of Minimum Wages Throughout the Wage Distribution," NBER Working Papers 7519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Christopher Woodruff, 1999. "Inflation stabilization and the vanishing size-wage effect," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 103-122, October.
  9. 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 S102-35, July.
  10. Brown, Charles, 1999. "Minimum wages, employment, and the distribution of income," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 32, pages 2101-2163 Elsevier.
  11. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1, December.
  12. David Fairris, 2003. "Unions and wage inequality in Mexico," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 481-497, April.
  13. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Institutional Changes and Rising Wage Inequality: Is There a Linkage?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 75-96, Spring.
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