Skip to content

Journal Article

Has the National Minimum Wage reduced UK wage inequality?

Authors

Publication date

2004

Abstract

The paper investigates the effect on the wage distribution of the introduction, in April 1999, of the national minimum wage (NMW) in the UK. Because of the structure of UK earnings statistics, it is not straightforward to investigate this and various methods for adjusting the published statistics are discussed.The main conclusions are that the NMW does have a detectable effect on the wage distribution and that compliance with the NMW is widespread but the effect is limited because the NMW has been set at a level such that only 6-7% of workers are directly affected and the NMW has had virtually no effect on the pay of workers who are not directly affected. Furthermore, virtually all the changes occurred within 2months of the introduction in April 1999 and its effect declined over time from April 1999 to September 2001 as the minimum wage was not uprated in line with the increase in average earnings. The more substantial increase in the NMW in October 2001 partially, but not wholly, restored some of this decline in impact.

Published in

Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A (Statistics in Society)

Volume

167 (4):613-626

Subjects

Wages And Earnings, Economic Policy, and Social Policy

Links

http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/search/sjournal+of+the+royal+statistical/sjournal+of+the+royal+statistical/1%2C9%2C11%2CB/frameset&FF=sjournal+of+the+royal+statistical+society+series+a+statistics+in+society&2%2C%2C2

Notes

Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*

#507995


Research home

Research home

News

Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author

Podcasts

Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society

Projects

Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs

Events

Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report

Themes

Key research themes and areas of interest