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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Minimum Wage Shocks, Employment Flows and Labor Market Frictions


We provide the first estimates of the effects of minimum wages on employment flows in the U.S. labor market, identifying the impact by using policy discontinuities at state borders. We find that minimum wages have  sizeable negative effect on employment flows but not stocks. Separations and accessions fall among affected workers, especially those with low tenure. We do not find changes in the duration of non-employment for separations or hires. This evidence is consistent with search models with endogenous separations, but explanations focused only on quits or only on layoffs are unlikely to explain the full complement of findings.

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