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Optimal Minimum Wage


  • Arantza Gorostiaga
  • Juan F Rubio-Ramirez


This paper studies the optimality of a minimum wage law when it is used, jointly with a distortionary tax-transfer scheme, to redistribute income among agents with different marginal productivity. We build a dynamic and stochastic general equilibrium model with a Ramsey planner making decisions on distortionary taxes, transfers, debt and minimum wage levels. In the economy there are two types of households; a low skilled and a high skilled type. We find that the optimality of minimum wages depends on the elasticity of substitution between labor inputs in the production technology and the size of each group in the total population. The sign and size of the elasticity of labor supply play also a crucial role in the setting of optimal policies. Finally, when it is assumed that tax revenues finance not only transfers, but also public spending, the probability of an optimal minimum wage law increase

Suggested Citation

  • Arantza Gorostiaga & Juan F Rubio-Ramirez, 2004. "Optimal Minimum Wage," 2004 Meeting Papers 302, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:302

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    Cited by:

    1. Arantza Gorostiaga & Rubio-Ramírez Juan F., 2008. "Fiscal policy and minimum wage for redistribution: an equivalence result," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 5(11), pages 1-8.

    More about this item


    Ramsey Problem; Minimun Wage; Redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy


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