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

Author

Listed:
  • V. Bhaskar

    (University of Essex)

  • Ted To

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 1996. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Labor and Demography 9603001, EconWPA, revised 06 Aug 1998.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:9603001
    Note: Type of Document - LaTex generated DVI file; to print on Any; pages: 30 ; figures: included
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
    2. Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast-Food Industry," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 6-21, October.
    3. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1992. "Minimum Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0080, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    4. David Card, 1992. "Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 22-37, October.
    5. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "A Reanalysis of the Effect of the New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase on the Fast-Food Industry with Representative Payroll Data," Working Papers 772, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    7. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1993. "Employment effects of minimum and subminimum wages: reply to Card, Katz, and Krueger," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 144, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. 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 257-273, May.
    9. Alan Manning, 1995. "How Do We Know That Real Wages Are Too High?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1111-1125.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. repec:fth:prinin:300 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "Ownership, Agency, and Wages: An Examination of Franchising in the Fast Food Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 75-101.
    15. repec:fth:prinin:298 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor theory; minimum wage; monopsony; oligopsony; monopsonistic competition.;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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