DP16823 Minimum Wages and Insurance within the Firm

Author(s): Effrosyni Adamopoulou, Francesco Manaresi, Omar Rachedi, Emircan Yurdagul
Publication Date: December 2021
Keyword(s): complementarities, Firm-specific shocks, General Equilibrium, Linked employer-employee data, Minimum Wages, Pass-Through
JEL(s): E24, E25, E64, J31, J38, J52
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Macroeconomics and Growth
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16823

Minimum wages alter the allocation of firm-idiosyncratic risk across workers. To establish this result, we focus on Italy, and leverage employer-employee data matched to firm balance sheets and hand-collected wage floors. We find a relatively larger pass-through of firm-specific labor-demand shocks into wages for the workers whose earnings are far from the floors, but who are employed by establishments intensive in minimum-wage workers. We study the welfare implications of this fact using an incomplete-market model. The asymmetric pass-through uncovers a novel channel which tilts the benefits of removing minimum wages toward high-paid employees at the expense of low-wage workers.