Evaluating the Impact of a National Minimum Wage: Evidence from a New Survey of Firms


In April 2000 the Irish government introduced a national minimum wage of £4.40 an hour. This paper uses data from a specially designed panel survey of firms to estimate the labour market effects of this change. Initial results show that employment growth among firms with low wage workers prior to the legislation was not significantly different to that for firms not affected by the legislation. However, this measure of the minimum wage bite is likely to overestimate the number of firms affected by the legislation. When we use a more refined measure of the minimum wage bite, which takes account of general wage growth in the economy we find the minimum wage may have had a statistically significantly negative effect on employment for the small number of firms most severely affected by the legislation.

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