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Minimum Wage Systems and Earnings Inequalities: Does Institutional Diversity Matter?

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  • Andrea Garnero
  • Stephan Kampelmann
  • François Rycx

Abstract

This paper explores how the diversity of minimum wage systems affects earnings inequalities within European countries. It relies on the combination of (a) harmonized micro-data from household surveys, (b) data on national statutory minimum wages and coverage rates, and (c) hand-collected information on minimum rates from more than 1,100 sectoral-level agreements across Europe. The analysis covers 18 countries over the period 2007-2009. Empirical results confirm the intuition of many practitioners that the combination of sectoral minimum rates and high coverage of collective bargaining can, at least for earnings inequalities, be regarded as a functional equivalent to a binding statutory minimum wage at the national level. Regression results suggest indeed that both a national statutory minimum wage and, in countries with sectoral-level minima, a higher collective bargaining coverage are significantly associated with lower levels of (overall and inter-industry) wage inequalities and a smaller fraction of workers paid below prevailing minima. Several robustness checks confirm these findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Garnero & Stephan Kampelmann & François Rycx, 2013. "Minimum Wage Systems and Earnings Inequalities: Does Institutional Diversity Matter?," Working Papers CEB 13-021, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/143827
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    1. Andrea Garnero & Stephan Kampelmann & François Rycx, 2013. "Minimum Wage Systems and Earnings Inequalities:Does Institutional Diversity Matter?," DULBEA Working Papers 13-06, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Manning, Alan, 2003. "The real thin theory: monopsony in modern labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 105-131, April.
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    4. Juan Dolado & Francis Kramarz & Steven Machin & Alan Manning & David Margolis & Coen Teulings, 1996. "The Economic Impact of Minimum Wages in Europe," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00353896, HAL.
    5. David H. Autor & Alan Manning & Christopher L. Smith, 2016. "The Contribution of the Minimum Wage to US Wage Inequality over Three Decades: A Reassessment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 58-99, January.
    6. Stephan Kampelmann, 2009. "Inequality Measures as Conventions: New Interpretations of a Classic Operationalization Problem," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/109410, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Butcher, Tim & Dickens, Richard & Manning, Alan, 2012. "Minimum wages and wage inequality: some theory and an application to the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48937, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Damian Grimshaw & Gerhard Bosch & Jill Rubery, 2014. "Minimum Wages and Collective Bargaining: What Types of Pay Bargaining Can Foster Positive Pay Equity Outcomes?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 52(3), pages 470-498, September.
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    11. David S. Lee, 1999. "Wage Inequality in the United States During the 1980s: Rising Dispersion or Falling Minimum Wage?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 977-1023.
    12. Arindrajit Dube & T. William Lester & Michael Reich, 2010. "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 945-964, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peng, Fei & Anwar, Sajid & Kang, Lili, 2017. "New technology and old institutions: An empirical analysis of the skill-biased demand for older workers in Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-19.
    2. Dr. Nickolaos Giovanis, 2018. "Determining Factors of Minimum Wage in the Member States of the OECD," Sumerianz Journal of Business Management and Marketing, Sumerianz Publication, vol. 1(4), pages 93-101, 12-2018.
    3. Marianna Belloc & Paolo Naticchioni & Claudia Vittori, 2018. "Urban Wage Premia, Cost of Living, and Collective Bargaining," CESifo Working Paper Series 7253, CESifo.
    4. Andrea Garnero & Stephan Kampelmann & François Rycx, 2013. "Minimum Wage Systems and Earnings Inequalities: Does Institutional Diversity Matter?," Working Papers CEB 13-021, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Aysit Tansel & Başak Dalgıç & Aytekin Güven, 2019. "Wage Inequality and Wage Mobility in Turkey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 107-129, February.
    6. Maitre, Bertrand & McGuinness, Seamus & Redmond, Paul, 2017. "A study of minimum wage employment in Ireland: The role of worker, household and job characteristics," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT332, January.
    7. Redmond, Paul & Doorley, Karina & McGuinness, Seamus, 2019. "The impact of a change in the National Minimum Wage on the distribution of hourly wages and household income in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS86, January.
    8. McGuinness, Seamus & Redmond, Paul, 2018. "Estimating the effect of an increase in the minimum wage on hours worked and employment in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT354, January.
    9. Otto Lenhart, 2017. "The impact of minimum wages on population health: evidence from 24 OECD countries," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(8), pages 1031-1039, November.
    10. Eva Militaru & Madalina Ecaterina Popescu & Amalia Cristescu & Maria Denisa Vasilescu, 2019. "Assessing Minimum Wage Policy Implications upon Income Inequalities. The Case of Romania," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(9), pages 1-20, May.
    11. Redmond, Paul & Doorley, Karina & McGuinness, Seamus, 2020. "The Impact of a Minimum Wage Change on the Distribution of Wages and Household Income," IZA Discussion Papers 12914, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Dr. Nickolaos Giovanis, 2019. "“Determining Factors of Minimum Wage in the Member States of the OECDâ€," Sumerianz Journal of Business Management and Marketing, Sumerianz Publication, vol. 2(1), pages 6-14, 01-2019.
    13. Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus, 2017. "A study of sub-minimum wage rates for young people," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT327, January.
    14. Salverda, Wiemer & Checchi, Daniele, 2014. "Labour-Market Institutions and the Dispersion of Wage Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 8220, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minimum wage systems; collective bargaining; wage inequality; Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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