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Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition

  • V. Bhaskar

    (University of Essex)

  • Ted To

    (University of Warwick)

Recent empirical work on the effects of minimum wages has called into question the conventional wisdom that minimum wages invariably reduce employment. We develop a model of \emph{monopsonistic competition} with \emph{free entry} to analyze the effects of minimum wages, and our predictions fit the empirical results closely. Under monopsonistic competition, we find that a rise in the minimum wage a) raises employment per firm, b) causes firm exit, c) may increase or reduce industry employment. Minimum wages increase welfare if they raise industry employment, but welfare effects are ambiguous if employment falls. Industry price and employment are inversely related if the product market is competitive. However, if firms have product market power, a minimum wage which raises industry employment can also increase prices.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 9603001.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 25 Mar 1996
Date of revision: 21 May 1996
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:9603001
Note: Type of Document - LaTex generated DVI file; to print on Any; pages: 30 ; figures: included
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "A Reanalysis of the Effect of the New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase on the Fast-Food Industry with Representative Payroll Data," NBER Working Papers 6386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alan Manning, 1994. "How do we Know that Real Wages are Too High?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0195, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast Food Industry," NBER Working Papers 3997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rebitzer, James B. & Taylor, Lowell J., 1995. "The consequences of minimum wage laws Some new theoretical ideas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 245-255, February.
  5. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1992. "Employment Effects of Minimum and Subminimum Wages: Panel Data on State Minimum Wage Laws," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 55-81, October.
  6. David Card, 1992. "Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage," NBER Working Papers 4058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Blundell, Richard & Ham, John & Meghir, Costas, 1987. "Unemployment and Female Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388a), pages 44-64, Supplemen.
  8. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," NBER Working Papers 4509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Ownership, Agency, and Wages: An Examination of Franchising in the Fast Food Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 75-101, February.
  10. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1995. "The Effect of New Jersey's Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-Food Employment: A Re-Evaluation Using Payroll Records," NBER Working Papers 5224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  12. William M. Boal & Michael R. Ransom, 1997. "Monopsony in the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 86-112, March.
  13. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
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