Do Minimum Wage Hikes Lead to Employment Destruction? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design in Argentina

Produced by: 
Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS)
Available from: 
February 2023
Paper author(s): 
Nicolás Abbate
Bruno Jiménez

In this study, we examine the impact of eight minimum wage increases in Argentina during the early 21st century by analyzing administrative records of registered employment. Utilizing a regression discontinuity design, we compare job separation rates between a group affected by the minimum wage hikes and a control group slightly out of their legal scope. We show that this method improves upon previous methods by reducing the likelihood of Type-I error. Overall, we find that the minimum wage hikes had no significant effect on job separation rates. However, the increases implemented in 2008 resulted in a decrease of 4.8 percentage points (19%) in separations, indicating that the employment effects of minimum wages may not necessarily lead to job loss.


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