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First to $15: Alberta's Minimum Wage Policy on Employment by Wages, Ages, and Places

Author

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  • Fossati, Sebastian

    (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

  • Marchand, Joseph

    (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

Abstract

Most minimum wage studies are identified on small, plentiful, and expected wage changes, spread out over time. A recent set of changes have instead been large, unexpected, and quick, following the “Fight for $15” movement. Alberta is the first state or province to have this $15 minimum wage, with an unexpectedly large increase (47%) occurring over a short horizon (3 years). The employment effects of this policy are estimated using a synthetic control approach on Labour Force Survey data. Similar to the existing literature, workers moved up the wage distribution, increment by increment, reaching past the 15th percentile, but not all remained employed. Employment losses were found mostly among younger workers, at magnitudes similar to previous elasticities. Newer to the literature, regional employment losses were found mostly outside of Alberta’s two main cities, but youth employment losses were similar between urban and non-urban areas, with an urban older worker offset.

Suggested Citation

  • Fossati, Sebastian & Marchand, Joseph, 2020. "First to $15: Alberta's Minimum Wage Policy on Employment by Wages, Ages, and Places," Working Papers 2020-15, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 23 Dec 2022.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2020_015
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    employment; Fight for $15; geography; minimum wage; synthetic control;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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