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Dropouts Need Not Apply? The Minimum Wage and Skill Upgrading

Jeffrey Clemens (), Lisa Kahn and Jonathan Meer ()

No 27090, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We explore whether minimum wage increases result in substitution from lower-skilled to slightly higher-skilled labor. Using 2011-2016 American Community Survey data (ACS), we show that workers employed in low-wage occupations are older and more likely to have a high school diploma following recent statutory minimum wage increases. To better understand the role of firms, we examine the Burning Glass vacancy data. We find increases in a high school diploma requirement following minimum wage hikes, consistent with our ACS evidence on stocks of employed workers. We see substantial adjustments to requirements both within and across firms.

JEL-codes: J23 J24 J3 J42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lma and nep-ure
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