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This chapter analyzes the effects of introducing a graduated minimum wage in a model with optimal income taxation in which a government seeks to maximize social welfare…
This chapter analyzes the effects of introducing a graduated minimum wage in a model with optimal income taxation in which a government seeks to maximize social welfare. It shows that the optimal graduated minimum wage increases social welfare by increasing the low-productivity workers’ consumption and bringing it closer to the first-best. The chapter also describes how the graduated minimum wage in a social welfare optimum depends on important economy characteristics such as the government’s revenue needs, the social welfare weight of low-productivity workers, and the numbers and productivities of the different types of workers.
Pay varies across individuals. Some variation is endemic to a country's institutions including a country's level of development and its technological infrastructure. Some variation is based on differences in individual attributes, particularly an individual's ability to acquire human capital. Finally, some variation is based on incentives instigated by the government, by one's employer, or by one's family. These incentives often operate indirectly by influencing educational choices, labor force participation, and even cohabitation and marital arrangements. This volume contains eight articles on aspects of the distribution of income. One deals with technology change and the distribution of earnings, two deal with internal labor markets, four deal with incentives that motivate work related behavior, and finally one deals with immigrant labor market success.