Economics at your fingertips  

The Minimum Wage and the Cause of Democracy

Oren Levin-Waldman

Review of Social Economy, 2003, vol. 61, issue 4, 487-510

Abstract: Too often the minimum wage is conceived of as a small policy measure that will be of benefit to only a small segment of the labor market while imposing costs on another segment of the labor market. Unexplored, however, are the larger philosophic questions that such a small measure may actually raise. One such issue is the relationship between the minimum wage and democratic principles. In this paper I argue that the minimum wage furthers the ends of democratic society in that low-wage workers may achieve greater equality of standing with their piers to the extent that income inequality is at all lessened; their autonomy as individuals is enhanced through higher wages, which in turn enables them to claim the benefits of citizenship and participate more effectively in the democratic process; and it fosters greater economic development in that it raises the overall structure of a region and perhaps the productivity of that region.

Keywords: minimum wage; democracy; equality; autonomy; empowerment; voice; citizenship; economic development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

DOI: 10.1080/0034676032000160921

Access Statistics for this article

Review of Social Economy is currently edited by Wilfred Dolfsma and John Davis

More articles in Review of Social Economy from Taylor & Francis Journals
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Chris Longhurst ().

Page updated 2020-09-04
Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:61:y:2003:i:4:p:487-510