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Minimum wages and youth employment: Evidence from the Finnish retail trade sector

  • Böckerman, Petri
  • Uusitalo, Roope

Following an agreement between the trade unions and the employer organisations, Finnish employers could pay less than the existing minimum wage for young workers between 1993 and 1995. We examine the effects of these minimum wage exceptions by comparing the changes in wages and employment of the groups whose minimum wages were reduced with simultaneous changes among slightly older workers for whom the minimum wage regulation was still binding. Our analysis is based on the payroll record data and minimum wage agreements from the retail trade sector over the period 1990-2005. We discover that average wages in the eligible group declined only modestly despite the fact that the excess supply of labour during high unemployment should make it relatively easy to attract workers even with low wages. The minimum wage exceptions had no positive effects on employment.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 6113.

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Date of creation: 05 Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:6113
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  1. Skedinger, Per, 2002. "Minimum wages and employment in Swedish hotels and restaurants," Working Paper Series 2002:18, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  2. Nickell, S. & Layard, R., 1997. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  3. Ilmakunnas, Pekka & Maliranta, Mika, 2001. "The Turnover of Jobs and Workers in a Deep Recession: Evidence from the Finnish Business Sector," Discussion Papers 747, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  4. Pereira, Sonia C., 2003. "The impact of minimum wages on youth employment in Portugal," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 229-244, April.
  5. Mark B. Stewart & Joanna K. Swaffield, 2002. "Using the BHPS Wave 9 Additional Questions to Evaluate the Impact of the National Minimum Wage," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(s1), pages 633-652, 08.
  6. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," NBER Working Papers 12663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast Food Industry," Working Papers 678, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Petri Böckerman & Roope Uusitalo, 2006. "Erosion of the Ghent System and Union Membership Decline: Lessons from Finland," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 44(2), pages 283-303, 06.
  9. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
  10. Skedinger, Per, 2007. "The Design and Effects of Collectively Agreed Minimum Wages: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 700, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  11. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux & David N. Margolis, 1997. "Minimum Wages and Youth Employment in France and the United States," NBER Working Papers 6111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Christian Zehnder, . "The Behavioral Effects of Minimum Wages," IEW - Working Papers 247, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  13. Hyslop, Dean & Stillman, Steven, 2007. "Youth minimum wage reform and the labour market in New Zealand," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 201-230, April.
  14. Pedro Portugal & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2006. "Disentangling the Minimum Wage Puzzle: An Analysis of Worker Accessions and Separations," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 988-1013, 09.
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