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Table 6 Youth minimum wage systems for selected OECD countries

From: Youth minimum wages and youth employment

Country Youth minimum wages Youth rates Sources/references Remarks
Australia Yes 15: 36%
16: 47%
17: 57%
18: 68%
19: 82%
20: 97%
▪ Australian Government, Fair Work Ombudsman Australia is a country that implements multiple youth rates across the time span of our data.
Belgium Yes < 16: 70%
17: 76%
18: 82%
19: 88%
20: 94%
▪ National Labour Council of Belgium
▪ Plasman, R. (2010). EEO Review: Youth Employment Measures Belgium. Brussels: European Employment Observatory.
▪ Cockx, B. (2013). Youth Unemployment in Belgium: Diagnosis and Key Remedies, IZA Policy Paper No. 66, Bonn: IZA.
▪ OECD. Economic Surveys: Belgium 2015. Paris: OECD
▪ ILO Legal Databases (Acts CCT No 43 and No 50 that define the youth rates for workers below the age of 21):
▪ Collective agreement No. 43 of 2 May 1988 concerning the amendment and consolidation of Collective agreements No. 21 of 15 May 1975 and No. 23 of 25 July 1975 on the guaranteed minimum wage as modified to November 1998
▪ Collective Agreement on the Guaranteed Minimum Wage for Workers Younger Than 21 Years, Agreement No. 50 of 29 November 1991.
The youth minimum wages in Belgium were phased out during the period 2013–2015. Accordingly, Belgium appears in the data as a country that implements youth rates until 2012.
Canada No   ▪ Government of Canada
▪ Shannon, M. (2011). The Employment Effects of Lower Minimum Wage Rates for Young Workers: Canadian Evidence, Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 50(4): 629–655.
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 1998
Reduced rates in Canada were abolished prior to our data. The country is treated as a country with no youth rate implementation.
Czech Republic No   ▪ OECD. Economic Survey: Czech Republic 2014. Paris: OECD
▪ Pavel Janicko (2012). Youth Employment in the Czech Republic. Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung: Czech Republic.
The lower minimum wage rates were not applied based on discrimination grounds. Any lower rates concern only those aged 18–21 and employed for the first time, reaching the 90% of minimum wage and for the first six months of employment. Thus, they are not taken into account in our analysis.
Estonia No   ▪ Statistics Estonia No reduced rates.
France No   ▪ OECD Employment Outlook 1998
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 2015
Lower wages for young workers in France is associated with job tenure. For example, those with up to 6 months experience and aged below the age of 17 are eligible to 80% of the adult minimum wage. For this reason, France is treated as a country with no specific youth wages.
Greece Yes < 25: 89% ▪ Yannelis, C. (2014). The Minimum Wage and Employment Dynamics: Evidence from an Age Based Reform in Greece. Royal Economic Society Annual Conference.
▪ Annual Report on the Greek Economy and Employment 2013, Employment Institute GSEE (Η Ελληνική Οικονομία και Απασχόληση, Ετήσια Έκθεση 2013: ΙΝΕ ΓΣΕΕ)
Greece introduced youth specific minimum wages after 2012.
Hungary No   ▪ OECD Employment Outlook 1998
▪ OECD Economic Surveys: Hungary 2014
No reduced rates. OECD proposes the introduction of lower rates to fight high youth unemployment and facilitate school-to-work transition (OECD, 2014).
Ireland Yes < 18: 70% ▪ Citizens Information: Rights of young workers
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 2015
In case of Ireland, it is strictly stated that “young people under the age of 18 are only granted up to 70% of the national minimum wage”.
Japan No   ▪ OECD Economic Surveys: Japan 2015
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 1998
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 2015
The regional minimum wages do not appear to be a problem for the analysis since there are no specific youth wages to be considered in this case.
Korea No   ▪ Republic of Korea, Minimum Wage Commission
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 1998
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 2015
Any lower rates are associated with job tenure (for those up to 6 months of tenure and under age of 18, the rate is 90%). Thus, Korea is treated as a country that does not use lower rates.
Luxembourg Yes 15–16: 75%
17: 80%
▪ The Official Portal of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 2015
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 1998
Luxembourg has been implementing lower youth rates during the reference period.
Netherlands Yes 15: 30%
16: 34%
17: 39%
18: 45%
19: 52%
20: 61%
21: 72%
22: 85%
▪ Government of the Netherlands
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 2015
The Netherlands has been using multiple youth wage rates throughout the time period of our analysis.
New Zealand Yes Multiple changes over the years ▪ Employment New Zealand
▪ Hyslop, D. and Stillman, S. (2007). Youth Minimum Wage Reform and the Labour Market in New Zealand. Labour Economics, 14(2): 201–230.
▪ Hyslop, D. and Stillman, S. (2011). The Impact of the 2008 Youth Minimum Wage Reform. Unpublished, Labour and Immigration Research Centre, New Zealand
During 2001–2008, the adult minimum wages applied to all those above the age of 18. From 2008, the adult wage applies to those above 16 years. From 2013, the minimum starting-out wage replaced the minimum wage for new entrants and the training minimum wage for trainees under 20 years of age.
Poland No   ▪ OECD Economic Surveys: Poland 2016
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 1998
No reduced rates.
Portugal Yes < 18: 75% ▪ OECD Employment Outlook 1998
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 2015
Lower wages for workers below the age of 18 throughout the reference period.
Slovak Republic Yes < 18: 80%
18–21: 90%
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 2015 Lower wages for workers below the age of 21.
Spain No   ▪ Blazquez et al. (2009), Minimum Wage and Youth Employment Rates in Spain: New Evidence for the Period 2000–2008, Economic Analysis Working Paper Series, Autonomous University of Madrid.
▪ OECD Employment Outlook 1998
No reduced rates.
Youth wages in Spain were abandoned prior to the beginning of the reference period of our data. Before that, the lower wages concerned those below the age of 18 and amounted up to 89% of the national wage.
Turkey Yes < 16: 85% ▪ OECD Employment Outlook 1998 Turkey has introduced lower wages for workers below the age of 16.
UK Yes Multiple changes over the years ▪ Gov.uk: National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage Rates
▪ Dickens, R., Riley, R., and Wilkinson, D. (2010). The Impact on Employment of the Age Related Increases in the National Minimum Wage. Report prepared for the Low Pay Commission. London: Low Pay Commission.
▪ Dickens, R., Riley, R., and Wilkinson, D. (2014). The UK Minimum Wage at 22 Years of Age: A Regression Discontinuity Approach. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 177(1): 9–114.
▪ Fidrmuc, J. and Tena, J. d. D (2013). National Minimum Wage and Employment of Young Workers in the UK.” CESifo Working Paper, No. 4286.
UK has implemented various youth rates across the years. Using the governmental source, we have captured all these changes across age categories and years.
USA Yes < 20: 58% ▪ OECD Employment Outlook 2015 The lower wage for young workers in the USA is associated with job tenure. Analysis is repeated with and without the US data and the results are robust.