DP2159 | Minimum Wages and Employment in France and the United States

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We use longitudinal individual wage and employment data in France and the United States to investigate the effect of intertemporal changes in an individual's status vis-à-vis the real minimum wage on employment transition rates. We find that movements in both French and American real minimum wages are associated with mild employment effects in general, and very strong effects on workers employed at the minimum wage. In the French case, albeit imprecisely estimated, a 1% increase in the real minimum wage decreases the employment probability of a man (resp. a woman) currently employed at the minimum wage by 1.3% (resp. 1.0%). In the United States, a decrease in the real minimum of 1% increases the probability that a man (resp. a woman) employed at the minimum wage came from nonemployment by 0.4% (resp. 1.6%).