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The Effects of Minimum Wages Throughout the Wage Distribution

This paper provides evidence on a wide set of margins along which labor markets can adjust in response to increases in the minimum wage, including wages, hours, employment, and ultimately labor income, representing the central margins of adjustment that impact the economic well-being of workers potentially affected by minimum wage increases. The evidence indicates that workers initially earning near the minimum wage are adversely affected by minimum wage increases, while, not surprisingly, higher-wage workers are little affected. Although wages of low-wage workers increase, their hours and employment decline, and the combined effect of these changes is a decline in earned income.

Suggested citation: Neumark, David, Mark Schweitzer, and William Wascher, 1999. “The Effects of Minimum Wages Throughout the Wage Distribution,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper, no. 99-19.

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