A Cross-National Analysis of the Effects of Minimum Wages on Youth Employment

50 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2000 Last revised: 13 Jun 2021

See all articles by David Neumark

David Neumark

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

William Wascher

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Date Written: August 1999

Abstract

We estimate the employment effects of changes in national minimum wages using a pooled cross-section time-series data set comprising sixteen OECD countries for the period 1975-1997. We pay particular attention to the impact of cross-country differences in minimum wage systems and in other labor market institutions and policies that may either reduce or amplify the effects of minimum wages. Overall, our results generally are consistent with the view that minimum wages cause employment losses among youth. However, the evidence also suggests that the employment effects of minimum wages vary considerably across countries. Disemployment effects of minimum wages appear to be smaller when there are subminimum wages for youths, while, in the longer run at least, minimum wages set by collective bargaining may entail more deleterious employment effects. We also find that government policies restricting employers' ability to adjust nonpecuniary characteristics of jobs (such as hours restrictions or work rules) tend to exacerbate the negative effects of minimum wages on youth employment, while countries with active labor market policies designed to bring non-employed individuals into the work force tend to exhibit smaller disemployment effects from minimum wages.

Suggested Citation

Neumark, David and Wascher, William, A Cross-National Analysis of the Effects of Minimum Wages on Youth Employment (August 1999). NBER Working Paper No. w7299, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=198731

David Neumark (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States
949-824-8496 (Phone)
949-824-2182 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~dneumark/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

William Wascher

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States
202-452-2812 (Phone)
202-452-3819 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
56
Abstract Views
1,328
rank
442,178
PlumX Metrics