The consequences of doubling the minimum wage : the case of Indonesia
Minimum wages in Indonesia were tripled in nominal terms, and doubled in real terms, in the first half of the 1990s. The author evaluates the effects of this hike on wage earnings, wage employment, and investment. After describing Indonesia's minimum wage policy and surveying the literature on the effects of minimum wages, the author applies relatively simple statistical tools to individual and aggregate data. He visually inspects the wage distribution for full-time laborers and employees to assess the extent of compliance with minimum wages. He uses regression analysis involving minimalist specifications and data aggregated by province to estimate the elasticity of wage earnings, wage employment, and investment with respect to the minimum wage. A wide dispersion in the ratio of minimum wages to labor productivity across the 27 Indonesian provinces can be used to identify the effects of the minimum wage. The results suggest that minimum wages have a moderate effect on outcomes in Indonesia's labor market. Taken at face value, these results imply that doubling the minimum wage led to a 10 percent increase in average wages, a 2 percent decrease in wage employment, and a 5 percent decrease in investment. The disemployment effect appears to be considerable in small firms, but employment may actually increase in large firms.
|Date of creation:||30 Sep 1996|
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