NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Bledi Taska

Burning Glass Technologies
One Lewis Wharf
Boston, MA 02110

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Burning Glass Technologies

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2019Minimum Wage Employment Effects and Labor Market Concentration
with José Azar, Emiliano Huet-Vaughn, Ioana Marinescu, Till von Wachter: w26101
Why is the employment effect of the minimum wage frequently found to be close to zero? Theory tells us that when wages are below marginal productivity, as with monopsony, employers are able to increase wages without laying off workers, but systematic evidence directly supporting this explanation is lacking. In this paper, we provide empirical support for the monopsony explanation by studying a key low-wage retail sector and using data on labor market concentration that covers the entirety of the United States with fine spatial variation at the occupation-level. We find that more concentrated labor markets – where wages are more likely to be below marginal productivity – experience significantly more positive employment effects from the minimum wage. While increases in the minimum wage are ...
March 2018Concentration in US Labor Markets: Evidence From Online Vacancy Data
with José A. Azar, Ioana Marinescu, Marshall I. Steinbaum: w24395
Using data on the near-universe of online US job vacancies collected by Burning Glass Technologies in 2016, we calculate labor market concentration using the Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHI) for each commuting zone by 6-digit SOC occupation. The average market has an HHI of 4,378, or the equivalent of 2.3 recruiting employers. 60% of labor markets are highly concentrated (above 2,500 HHI) according to the DOJ/FTC guidelines. Highly concentrated markets account for 20% of employment. For manufacturing industries, we show that labor market concentration is distinct from product market concentration, and is negatively correlated with wages in each industry’s top occupation.
 
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