December 2013

IZA DP No. 7813: Minimum Wages and Employment in China

published in: IZA Journal of Labor Policy, 2015, 4:22, 1-30

Since China promulgated new minimum wage regulations in 2004, the magnitude and frequency of changes in the minimum wage have been substantial, both over time and across jurisdictions. This paper uses county-level minimum wage panel data and a longitudinal household survey from 16 representative provinces to estimate the employment effects of minimum wage changes in China over the period of 2004 to 2009. In contrast to the mixed results of previous studies using provincial-level data, we present evidence that minimum wage changes have significant adverse effects on employment in the Eastern and Central regions of China, and result in disemployment for females, young adults, and low-skilled workers.