Monopsony and also the Minimum Wage

We have actually seen that salaries will be reduced in monopsony 보다 in otherwise comparable competitive job markets. In a compete market, workers get wages equal to your MRPs. Employees employed through monopsony firms get wages that are less than your MRPs. This fact says sharply different conclusions for the analysis of minimum incomes in competitive versus monopsony conditions.

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In a competitive market, the imposition of a minimum wage over the equilibrium wage necessarily to reduce employment, together we learned in the module on perfectly competitive job markets. In a monopsony market, however, a minimum wage over the equilibrium wage could increase employment in ~ the exact same time together it increases wages!

Figure 14.5 shows a monopsony employer that deals with a it is provided curve, S, indigenous which we derive the marginal factor price curve, MFC. The firm maximizes profit by employing Lm systems of labor and also paying a fairy of $4 every hour. The fairy is listed below the firm’s MRP.


Figure 14.5. Minimum Wage and also Monopsony. A monopsony employer deals with a supply curve S, a marginal factor expense curve MFC, and also a marginal revenue product curve MRP. It maximizes profit by employing Lm units of labor and paying a wage of $4 every hour. The imposition that a minimum wage of $5 per hour makes the dashed sections of the supply and MFC curves irrelevant. The marginal factor cost curve is thus a horizontal heat at $5 as much as L1 devices of labor. MRP and also MFC now intersect in ~ L2 so the employment increases.

Now suppose the government imposes a minimum wage of $5 every hour; it is illegal because that firms to pay less. In ~ this minimum wage, L1units the labor space supplied. To obtain any smaller amount of labor, the firm have to pay the minimum wage. That way that the ar of the supply curve showing quantities of labor offered at wages listed below $5 is irrelevant; the firm cannot pay those wages. Notice that the section of the supply curve below $5 is presented as a dashed line. If the firm wants to hire an ext than L1units the labor, however, it must pay wages offered by the supply curve.

Marginal factor expense is influenced by the minimum wage. Come hire additional units that labor up to L1, the firm payment the minimum wage. The added cost the labor past L1continues to be provided by the initial MFC curve. The MFC curve thus has actually two segments: a horizontal segment in ~ the minimum wage for quantities up to L1and the solid section of the MFC curve because that quantities past that.

The firm will certainly still rental labor as much as the allude that MFC equals MRP. In the situation shown in number 14.5, that occurs at L2. The firm hence increases its employment of job in an answer to the minimum wage. This theoretical conclusion received noticeable empirical validation in a study by David Card and Alan Krueger that suggested that boost in new Jersey’s minimum wage may have increased employed in the rapid food industry. That conclusion became an important political device for supporters of boost in the minimum wage. The validity the those results has come under significant challenge, however, and also the simple conclusion the a greater minimum wage would boost unemployment among unskilled workers in most instances remains the place of most economists. The conversation in the case in point summarizes the debate.


In a competitive labor market, an increase in the minimum wage reduces employment and also increases unemployment.A minimum wage can increase employed staff in a monopsony labor market at the exact same time it boosts wages.Some economists argue that the monopsony design characterizes all job markets and also that this justifies a national boost in the minimum wage.Most economic experts argue the a nationwide increase in the minimum fairy would alleviate employment among low-wage workers.

Case in Point: The Monopsony-Minimum fairy Controversy

While the imposition the a minimum fairy on a monopsony employer can increase employment and also wages in ~ the same time, the opportunity is generally regarded as empirically unimportant, offered the rarity of cases of monopsony power in labor markets. However, some researches have discovered that rises in the minimum wage have actually led come either enhanced employment or to no far-reaching reductions in employment. These results show up to contradict the competitive version of demand and supply in the labor market, i beg your pardon predicts that boost in the minimum wage will lead to a reduction in employed staff and rise in unemployment.

The examine that sparked the dispute was an analysis by David Card and Alan Krueger of employed staff in the fast food industry in Pennsylvania and brand-new Jersey. Brand-new Jersey boosted its minimum fairy to $5.05 every hour in 1992, as soon as the nationwide minimum wage was $4.25 every hour. The two economists surveyed 410 fast food restaurants in the citizens King, KFC, Roy Rogers, and Wendy’s chains simply before brand-new Jersey boosted its minimum and also again 10 months after the increase.

There to be no statistically significant change in employment in the new Jersey franchises, yet employment fell in the Pennsylvania franchises. Thus, employment in the brand-new Jersey franchises “rose” relative to employed staff in the Pennsylvania franchises. Card and also Krueger’s outcomes were widely interpreted as showing an increase in employment in new Jersey as a result of the increase in the minimum wage there.

Do minimum wages reduce employment or not? part economists understood the Card and also Krueger results as demonstrating prevalent monopsony power in the labor market. Economist Alan Manning notes that the vain model suggests that a firm that pays a penny less than the industry equilibrium fairy will have actually zero employees. But, Mr. Manning notes the there space non-wage characteristics to any job that, together with the expense of transforming jobs, an outcome in separation, personal, instance employers dealing with upward-sloping supply curves because that labor and thus giving them monopsony power. And, together we have seen, a firm with monopsony power may respond to rise in the minimum wage by enhancing employment.

The an obstacle with implementing this conclusion on a nationwide basis is that, even if firms do have a level of monopsony power, the is impossible to recognize just how much power any one for sure has and also by how much the minimum wage might be boosted for each firm. As a result, also if it to be true that firms had such monopsony power, it would not follow that boost in the minimum wage would certainly be appropriate.

Even the detect that rise in the minimum wage might not alleviate employment has actually been dubbed into question. First, there are plenty of empirical researches that suggest that boosts in the minimum fairy do reduce employment. Because that example, a recent study of employment in the restaurant industry by Chicago federal Reserve financial institution economists Daniel Aaronson and Eric French concluded that a 10% increase in the minimum wage would alleviate employment among unskilled restaurant workers by 2 to 4%. This recognize was an ext in heat with other empirical work. Further, economists allude out that jobs have nonwage elements. Hrs of work, functioning conditions, fellow employees, health insurance, and other fringe services of working can all be adjusted by that company in response to rise in the minimum wage. Dwight Lee, one economist at the college of Georgia, suggests that together a result, boost in the minimum wage may not mitigate employment but may alleviate other fringe services that workers value an ext highly than wages themselves. So, an increase in the minimum wage might make even workers who receive greater wages worse off. One indicator that suggests that higher minimum wages may reduce the welfare of low earnings workers is that participation in the labor pressure by teens has been presented to fall as a result of greater minimum wages. If the possibility to earn greater wages to reduce the number of teenagers seek those wages, that may suggest that low-wage work-related has come to be less desirable.

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In short, the possibility that higher minimum wages can not mitigate employment among low-wage employees does no necessarily mean that higher minimum wages boost the welfare the low revenue workers. Evidence that casts doubt top top the proposition that higher minimum wages mitigate employment does not remove plenty of economists’ doubt that greater minimum earnings would it is in a great policy.