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The Effect of Minimum Wages on Labor Market Outcomes: County-Level Estimates from the Restaurant-and-Bar Sector

Author

Listed:
  • John T. Addison

    (Queen’s University Belfast, UK and The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy)

  • McKinley L. Blackburn

    (University of South Carolina, USA)

  • Chad D. Cotti

    (University of South Carolina, USA)

Abstract

We use county-level data on employment and earnings in the restaurant-and-bar sector to evaluate the impact of minimum wage changes on low-wage labor markets. Our empirical approach is similar to the literature that has used state-level panel data to estimate minimum-wage impacts, with the difference that we focus on a particular sector rather than demographic group. Our estimated models are consistent with a simple competitive model of the restaurant-and-bar labor market in which supply-and-demand factors affect both the equilibrium outcome and the probability that a minimum wage will be binding in any given time period. Our evidence does not suggest that minimum wages reduce employment in the overall restaurant-and-bar sector, after controls for trends in sector employment at the county level are incorporated in the model. Employment in this sector appears to exhibit a downward long-term trend in states that have increased their minimum wages relative to states that have not, thereby predisposing fixed-effects estimates towards finding negative employment effects.

Suggested Citation

  • John T. Addison & McKinley L. Blackburn & Chad D. Cotti, 2008. "The Effect of Minimum Wages on Labor Market Outcomes: County-Level Estimates from the Restaurant-and-Bar Sector," Working Paper series 02_08, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:02_08
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Card, 1992. "Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage," Working Papers 680, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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