Measuring the Impact of Minimum Wages

William F. Maloney and Jairo Nuñez Mendez

in Law and Employment

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780226322827
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226322858 | DOI:
Measuring the Impact of Minimum Wages

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This chapter first provides an overview of the levels of minimum wages in Latin America and their true impact on the distribution of wages using both numerical measures and kernel density plots for eight countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, and Uruguay). In particular, it attempts to identify effects higher in the wage distribution and in the unregulated or “informal” sector. The central message is that the minimum wage has impacts on wage setting far beyond those usually contemplated and likely beyond those found in the industrialized countries. The final section then employs panel employment data from Colombia, a country where minimum wages seem high and very binding, to quantify these effects and their impact on employment.

Keywords: minimum wages; Latin America; wage distribution; informal sector; employment data; Colombia

Chapter.  7130 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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