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Copyright © 2012 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.McGraw-Hill/Irwin Chapter 31 Minimum Wage.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright © 2012 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.McGraw-Hill/Irwin Chapter 31 Minimum Wage."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright © 2012 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.McGraw-Hill/Irwin Chapter 31 Minimum Wage

2 1- 2 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin 31-2 Chapter Outline Traditional Economic Analysis Of A Minimum Wage Rebuttal To The Traditional Analysis Where Are Economists Now? Kick It Up A Notch

3 1- 3 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin 31-3 Why Have a Minimum Wage The argument for a minimum wage is that people who work full time should not be in poverty. This combines two concepts: Minimum Wage: the lowest wage that may legally be paid for an hour’s work Living Wage: a wage sufficient to keep a family out of poverty

4 1- 4 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin 31-4 Minimum Wage Relative to the Poverty Line

5 1- 5 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin 31-5 Nominal and Real Minimum Wage (1999 dollars)

6 1- 6 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin 31-6 Minimum Wage Increases The Federal minimum wage was originally set at 25 cents per hour. There have been 21 increases. July 2011 it was $7.25 per hour. To be equal to its 1968 high in inflation-adjusted terms it would need to be $11 per hour in 2009.

7 1- 7 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin 31-7 Minimum Wages in States and Cities 15 states have minimum wages laws Many cities have their own minimum wages laws 7 states index their minimum wages for inflation

8 1- 8 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin 31-8 The Labor Market without a Minimum Wage Labor W Demand Supply A W* B C 0 L* Value to the firms: 0ACL* Firms pay workers: OW*CL* The opportunity cost to workers: OBCL* Surplus to firms: W*AC Surplus to workers: BW*C

9 1- 9 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin 31-9 Minimum Wage Relevance A minimum wage is only relevant if it is above the market wage. A minimum wage below the market wage is irrelevant. The company must pay the market wage to attract workers. Paying below the market wage is not in its interests because such a wage would not attract sufficient workers to the company.

10 1- 10 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin What’s Wrong with the Minimum Wage The gain to the workers who keep their jobs is less than the loss to the losers who lose their jobs and are firms who have to pay higher wages.

11 1- 11 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin The Case Against (continued) An increase in the minimum wage by 10% decreases the number of jobs held by teens by 1% to 3%. A minimum wage increase negatively affects small businesses more than larger firms. minorities more than whites. A majority of minimum wage workers are young adults who are not supporting families. An increase in the minimum wage is an inefficient mechanism for helping poor working families.

12 1- 12 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin The EITC Alternative to the Minimum Wage The earned income tax credit (EITC) is a targeted tax credit to the working poor. was, in 2011, as much as $4,824 for a working poor family with two children. 70% of benefits go to households in poverty 70% of minimum wage benefits go to households not in poverty

13 1- 13 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin The Rebuttals to the Traditional Analysis The Macroeconomic Argument The money that is transferred from employers to employees in more likely to be spent than saved thereby increasing GDP. The Work Effort Argument People who are paid more may work harder than people who are paid less. This may return some of the increased wage paid by employers back to them in terms of increased productivity. The Inelasticity of Labor Demand Argument If the demand for labor is inelastic then there is less of a loss in employment and a smaller deadweight loss.

14 1- 14 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin Where are Economists Now Economists have long been against the minimum wage and for the EITC. Card and Kruger challenged many of the long-held conclusions in the 1990s with research verifying the Inelasticity Argument. For most labor economists, subsequent research has re-verified the original pro- EITC, anti-minimum wage argument.

15 1- 15 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin Kicking it Up a Notch: Demonstrating the Case Against the Minimum Wage Labor Value to the firms: 0AEL min Firms pay workers: 0W min EL min The opportunity cost to workers: 0BFL min Surplus to firms: W min AE Surplus to workers: BW min EF Unemployed workers Who had jobs L*-L min Who are now looking L S -L* W Demand Supply A W* B C 0 L* W min L min LSLS E F

16 1- 16 ©2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights ReservedMcGraw-Hill/Irwin Demonstrating the Inelasticity Argument Labor W Demand Supply W* B C 0 L* W min L min E F Small number of displaced workers Low level of DWL


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