The effects of the minimum wage on earnings and employment in Brazil

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This paper analyzes the effects of the mlmmum wage on both, eammgs and employment, using a Brazilian rotating panel data (Pesquisa Mensal do Emprego - PME) which has a similar design to the US Current Population Survey (CPS). First an intuitive description of the data is done by graphical analysis. In particular, Kemel densities are used to show that an increase in the minimum wage compresses the eamings distribution. This graphical analysis is then forrnalized by descriptive models. This is followed by a discussion on identification and endogeneity that leads to the respecification of the model. Second, models for employment are estimated, using an interesting decomposition that makes it possible to separate out the effects of an increase in the minimum wage on number of hours and on posts of jobs. The main result is that an increase in the minimum wage was found to compress the eamings distribution, with a moderately small effect on the leveI of employment, contributing to alleviate inequality.

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