DP12057 The Consumption Response to Minimum Wages: Evidence from Chinese Households

Author(s): Ernest Dautovic, Harald Hau, Yi Huang
Publication Date: May 2017
Keyword(s): Household consumption, Labor income, minimum wage, Permanent income hypothesis
JEL(s): C26, E24, J38
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Financial Economics, Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12057

This paper evaluates the Chinese minimum wage policy for the period 2002-2009 in terms of its impact on low income household consumption. Using a representative household panel, we find support for the permanent income hypothesis, whereby unanticipated and persistent income increases due to minimum wage policy change are fully spent. The impact is driven by households with at least one child. We infer significant positive welfare effects for low income households based on expenditure increases concentrated in health care and education, whereas a negative employment effect of higher minimum wage cannot be confirmed.