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Can Rescheduling Explain the New Jersey Minimum Wage Studies?


  • Thomas R. Michl

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)


This paper interprets the New Jersey minimum wage studies of Card and Krueger and their critics, Neumark and Wascher, through a scheduling model. The former found an increase in the number of workers in New Jersey fast-food restaurants after the state minimum wage was increased, while the latter found a decline in the total payroll hours of New Jersey restaurants. The scheduling model predicts that firms will substitute workers for hours per worker after a wage increase, which is consistent with both studies. Evidence from a subset of restaurants that reported both workers and hours data to Neumark and Wascher supports this interpretation. The New Jersey minimum wage appears to have redistributed income effectively to the targeted population by raising wages and reducing weekly hours per worker by just over one hour without causing any job loss.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas R. Michl, 1999. "Can Rescheduling Explain the New Jersey Minimum Wage Studies?," Macroeconomics 9908001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9908001 Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 19; figures: included

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. 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..
    3. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," NBER Working Papers 12663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lemos Sara, 2005. "Political Variables as Instruments for the Minimum Wage," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-33, December.
    3. Bossler, Mario & Gerner, Hans-Dieter, 2016. "Employment effects of the new German minimum wage: Evidence from establishment-level micro data," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145926, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Mark B. Stewart & Joanna K. Swaffield, 2008. "The Other Margin: Do Minimum Wages Cause Working Hours Adjustments for Low-Wage Workers?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(297), pages 148-167, February.
    5. Gonzalo Castex H., 2012. "Aumento del Salario Mínimo y sus Efectos sobre el Mercado Laboral," Notas de Investigación Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 15(2), pages 117-129, August.
    6. Sara Lemos, 2004. "A Menu Of Minimum Wage Variables For Evaluating Wages and Employment Effects: Evidence From Brazil," Labor and Demography 0403009, EconWPA.
    7. Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2011. "The ambiguous effect of minimum wages on hours," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 218-228, April.
    8. John Schmitt, 2013. "Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2013-04, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    9. Sara Lemos, 2004. "Are Wage and Employment Effects Robust to Alternative Minimum Wage Variables?," Discussion Papers in Economics 04/4, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    10. Anna Baranowska-Rataj & Iga Magda, 2015. "The impact of the minimum wage on job separations and working hours among young people in Poland," Working Papers 75, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    11. David Neumark & Olena Nizalova, 2007. "Minimum Wage Effects in the Longer Run," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
    12. Bossler, Mario & Gerner, Hans-Dieter, 2016. "Employment effects of the new German minimum wage : evidence from establishment-level micro data," IAB Discussion Paper 201610, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

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    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics


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