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Table 4 Key early, recent, and summary estimates of minimum wage effects on unskilled employment

From: Policy levers to increase jobs and increase income from work after the Great Recession

Authors Employment elasticity and groups studied Data/approach
Early estimates/summary
Brown et al. (1982) −0.1 to −0.3, mostly for teenagers, −0.1 to −0.2 for 16–24-year-olds Aggregate time series
Recent summaries/meta-analyses
Neumark and Wascher (2007) Many estimates in the range of −0.1 to −0.2 for teens and other low-skilled groups; sometimes larger negative when focusing more specifically on least-skilled groups Narrative survey of many papers
Doucouliagos and Stanley (2009) Average across studies of −0.19 for teens and low-skilled; 0.04 using their correction for publication bias Meta-analysis, average across many studies
Belman and Wolfson (2014) Range of estimates from averaging across studies for teens and low-skilled, −0.03 to −0.10; when weighted inversely by precision, −0.03 to −0.10; with corrections for publication bias, −0.02 to −0.06 Meta-analysis, average across many studies
Recent estimates
Geographically-proximate changes
Dube et al. (2010) Near zero for teens and restaurant workers Paired counties on opposite sides of state borders
Allegretto, Dube, and Reich (2011) Near zero for teens States compared only to those in same Census division
Gittings and Schmutte: Getting handcuffs on an octopus: minimum wages, employment, and turnover, Unpublished Near zero for teens; larger negative elasticities in markets with short non-employment durations (−0.1 to −0.98) and smaller positive elasticities in markets with long non-employment durations (0.2 to 0.46) States compared only to those in same Census division
Addison et al. (2013) Varying sign, more negative, generally insignificant for restaurant workers and teens; stronger negative at the height of Great Recession (−0.34) Similar methods to Dube et al. (2010) and Allegretto et al. (2011), restricted to the 2005–2010 period
Other approaches
Neumark et al. (2014a, 2014b) −0.14/−0.15 for teens, −0.05/−0.06 for restaurant workers States compared to data-driven choice of controls (synthetic control), and state panel data
Totty (2014) Most near zero, some near −0.04 for restaurant workers; 0 to −0.15 for teens States compared to data-driven choice of controls (factor model)
Powell: Synthetic control estimation beyond case studies: does the minimum wage decrease teen employment?, Unpublished −0.10 States compared to data-driven choice of controls (synthetic controls, estimated simultaneously with employment effect)
Baskaya and Rubinstein: Using federal minimum wage effects to identify the impact of minimum wages on employment and earnings across U.S. states, unpublished −0.5 for teens States, using federally induced variation as instrumental variable
Clemens and Wither (2014) Appx. −0.67, for those directly affected by minimum wage increase Targeted/affected workers versus other low-wage workers in states affected by federal increases
Thompson (2009) −0.3 (for teen employment share) Low-wage counties vs. higher-wage counties in states
Liu et al.: Impact of the minimum wage on youth labor markets, forthcoming −0.17 (14–18-year-olds) Comparisons within BEA Economic Areas (EA) that cross state lines, with controls for EA-specific shocks
Meer and West: Effects of the minimum wage on employment dynamics, forthcoming Long-run elasticity for overall employment of −0.07, in many cases concentrated in low-wage industries State panel data, long differences with lagged effects
  1. Notes: The table reports my best attempts to identify the authors’ preferred estimates reported in the papers