The Impact of Minimum Wage on Average Earnings in the Caribbean using Two-Selected Countries, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica (1980-2011 and 1997-2011)
This paper examines the impact of minimum wages on average wage earnings in two selected countries, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica using a time-series data for the latter and a panel data for both. The methodology of GMM time-series estimation is used on the Jamaican data (1980-2011) and a Two Stage Least Square Regression model is used for the panel data (1997-2011). The impacts of minimum wage on average earnings are mixed. In the time-series model, the real minimum wage has a negative and significant impact on the real average earnings, a unit change in the minimum wage decreases earnings by $2. However, in the panel model, the minimum wage positively impacts the real average wage by the same amount. Thus, the minimum wage alone cannot be used to boost average earnings; emphasis needs to be placed on the productivity of workers and the cost of doing business in the Caribbean.
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