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On the distributional effects of minimum wages: A note

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  • Sell, Friedrich L.
  • Öllinger, Michael

Abstract

In this note, we recall that unions traditionally pursue a policy of pushing higher average wages and, at the same time, for a compression of the structure of wages and salaries, which is some sort of equity. Given the precipitous fall of union density in many, if not all, OECD countries, the actual good climate for minimum wage policy comes at no surprise. Despite the fact that unions do dislike the intervention of labor market policy to the detriment of tariff autonomy, we can show that minimum wages are capable of serving both of the above-mentioned goals of unions and also help increase the overall wage quota in the economy. Hence, It can be concluded that the unions have a double dividend when inviting policy makers to pursue a policy of minimum wages: both the average wage rate can be increased and the dispersion of wages be lowered, ceteris paribus.

Suggested Citation

  • Sell, Friedrich L. & Öllinger, Michael, 2017. "On the distributional effects of minimum wages: A note," Working Papers in Economics 2017,3, Bundeswehr University Munich, Economic Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ubwwpe:20173
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mariano Bosch & Marco Manacorda, 2010. "Minimum Wages and Earnings Inequality in Urban Mexico," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 128-149, October.
    2. Chun , Natalie & Khor, Niny, 2010. "Minimum Wages and Changing Wage Inequality in Indonesia," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 196, Asian Development Bank.
    3. Richard Dickens & Alan Manning & Tim Butcher, 2012. "Minimum Wages and Wage Inequality: Some Theory and an Application to the UK," Working Paper Series 4512, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    4. Adam, Antonis & Moutos, Thomas, 2006. "Minimum wages, inequality and unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 170-176, August.
    5. Bosch, Mariano & Manacorda, Marco, 2008. "Minimum wages and earnings inequality in urban Mexico. Revisiting the evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19561, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Patrick Belser & Uma Rani, 2015. "Minimum wages and inequality," Chapters,in: Labour Markets, Institutions and Inequality, chapter 5, pages 123-146 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    strategy of unions; wage dispersion; average and minimum wages; wage quota;

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy

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