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MINIMUM WAGE AND YOUTH EMPLOYMENT RATES, 2000-2008

Maite Blázquez Cuesta (), Raquel Llorente-Heras and Julian Moral Carcedo ()

Revista de Economia Aplicada, 2011, vol. 19, issue 2, 35-57

Abstract: The existence of a universal minimum wage has been, and continues to be, an intensely debated issue. On the one hand, the controversy surrounding a minimum wage appears to be partly justified because the effects of the introduction and increase of a minimum wage may differ greatly depending on the labour market structure. On the other, the current academic literature does not provide clear evidence of which collectives are likely to be more affected in terms of employment by the introduction or increase of a minimum wage. Using the data for the period 2000-2008, this study aims to examine the effect of a minimum wage on youth employment in Spain, taking into account both regional differences and the dynamic behaviour of employment. Unlike previous papers on this subject, we additionally consider the effect of seasonality on employment, a particularly widespread feature of youth employment in Spain. The results obtained in our analysis do not provide clear evidence of any negative effect of a minimum wage on youth employment during the period under study. While this result may point to the existence of a monopsonistic structure of the labour market, the coexistence of increases both in the minimum wage and in youth employment rate during this period could also be explained in the light of a perfectly competitive labour market with a high degree of dynamism and a structural change in employment demand.

Keywords: Employment rate; minimum wage; Kaitz index (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J18 J21 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Revista de Economia Aplicada is currently edited by Angel de la Fuente, Germá Bel, José Ignacio García, Javier Gardeazábal, Diego Rodríguez and Rafael Santamaría

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