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When Do Living Wages Bite?

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Disciplines
  • Economics

Abstract

Many features of living wage laws may influence the strength of their effects on the wages and employment of low-skill workers. Echoing past research, we find that business assistance living wage laws generate stronger wage increases and employment reductions than do contractor-only laws. However, broader enforcement or implementation as well as the geographic concentration of living wage laws also appear to strengthen their effects. Finally, geographic concentration may be more significant than the distinction between business assistance and contractor-only living wage laws.

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