Cover: Effects of Minimum Wages on the Age Composition of Youth Employment.

Effects of Minimum Wages on the Age Composition of Youth Employment.

Published 1975

by Finis Welch, J. Cunningham

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback28 pages $20.00

Examines the effect of minimum wage laws on teenage employment, using data by state from the 1/100 Public Use Sample of the 1970 Census. Wage legislation has increased the costs of employing teenagers and, therefore, has reduced their employment. Effects are more pronounced for younger teenagers and in geographic regions where average wages are low. This study reports estimated employment effects of wage minima for three groups of teenagers, those 14-15, 16-17, and 18-19 years old. Estimated gross employment elasticities are decomposed into substitution and scale effects in an effort to determine the impact of age-based minimum wage differentials. Lower minima for young workers would increase total teenage employment. Large errors of estimation preclude precise statements of effects on these teenagers to whom differentials are not extended. 28 pp. Ref.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.