Does a Higher Minimum Wage Enhance the Effectiveness of The Earned Income Tax Credit?
We study the effects of minimum wages and the EITC in the post-welfare reform era. For the minimum wage, the evidence points to disemployment effects that are concentrated among young minority men. For young women, there is little evidence that minimum wages reduce employment, with the exception of high school dropouts. In contrast, evidence strongly suggests that the EITC boosts employment of young women (although not teenagers). We also explore how minimum wages and the EITC interact, and the evidence reveals policy effects that vary substantially across different groups. For example, higher minimum wages appear to reduce earnings of minority men, and more so when the EITC is high. In contrast, our results indicate that the EITC boosts employment and earnings for minority women, and coupling the EITC with a higher minimum wage appears to enhance this positive effect. Thus, whether or not the policy combination of a high EITC and a high minimum wage is viewed as favorable or unfavorable depends in part on whose incomes policymakers are trying to increase.
The authors are grateful to Stephen Ciccarella for outstanding research assistance. Neumark's research on this project was supported by the Employment Policies Institute. The views expressed are the authors' alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Board or its staff, those of the Employment Policies Institute, or those of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
David Neumark & William Wascher, 2011. "Does a Higher Minimum Wage Enhance the Effectiveness of the Earned Income Tax Credit?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(4), pages 712-746, July. citation courtesy of