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Price floors in the labor market: living wages and minimum wages

In contrast to goods and services markets, price ceilings are rare in labor markets, because rules that prevent people from earning income are not politically popular. There is one exception: sometimes limits are proposed on the high incomes of top business executives.

The labor market, however, presents some prominent examples of price floors, which are often used as an attempt to increase the wages of low-paid workers. The U.S. government sets a minimum wage    , a price floor that makes it illegal for an employer to pay employees less than a certain hourly rate. In mid-2009, the U.S. minimum wage was raised to $7.25 per hour. Local political movements in a number of U.S. cities have pushed for a higher minimum wage, which they call a living wage . Promoters of living wage laws maintain that the minimum wage is too low to ensure a reasonable standard of living. They base this conclusion on the calculation that, if you work 40 hours a week at a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for 50 weeks a year, your annual income is $14,500, which is less than the official U.S. government definition of what it means for a family to be in poverty. (A family with two adults earning minimum wage and two young children will find it more cost efficient for one parent to provide childcare while the other works for income. So the family income would be $14,500, which is significantly lower than the federal poverty line for a family of four, which was $23,850 in 2014.)

Supporters of the living wage argue that full-time workers should be assured a high enough wage so that they can afford the essentials of life: food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare. Since Baltimore passed the first living wage law in 1994, several dozen cities enacted similar laws in the late 1990s and the 2000s. The living wage ordinances do not apply to all employers, but they have specified that all employees of the city or employees of firms that are hired by the city be paid at least a certain wage that is usually a few dollars per hour above the U.S. minimum wage.

[link] illustrates the situation of a city considering a living wage law. For simplicity, we assume that there is no federal minimum wage. The wage appears on the vertical axis, because the wage is the price in the labor market. Before the passage of the living wage law, the equilibrium wage is $10 per hour and the city hires 1,200 workers at this wage. However, a group of concerned citizens persuades the city council to enact a living wage law requiring employers to pay no less than $12 per hour. In response to the higher wage, 1,600 workers look for jobs with the city. At this higher wage, the city, as an employer, is willing to hire only 700 workers. At the price floor, the quantity supplied exceeds the quantity demanded, and a surplus of labor exists in this market. For workers who continue to have a job at a higher salary, life has improved. For those who were willing to work at the old wage rate but lost their jobs with the wage increase, life has not improved. [link] shows the differences in supply and demand at different wages.

Questions & Answers

what is taxation?
jacob Reply
In simple term. Taxation can be defined as compulsory payment levy on company or individual by the government. It can be direct or indirect.
salawu
disadvantage of money
Bigdreamz Reply
Please any Ghanaian schooling at KNUST?
Prince Reply
combining factors of production is the role of
Richard Reply
the situation in economic where by a more valuable good is sold at a low price while less valuable good is sold at a higher price .how can we describe this situation in economic
Fung
price discrimination
Fayaz
deman and supply
Samim
price discrimination
Citizen
enterlrenure
Fayaz
causes of high elasticity of demand
Onyango Reply
causes of high elasticity of supply
Onyango
what is optimazation
lepekola
what is trade offs
lepekola
A trade-off  is a situational decision that involves diminishing one quality, or property of a design in return for gains in other aspects.
Addin
what is indifference curve ?
abdullah
its represnted by the loops of points and gives same level of satisfaction
hisham
what is enterpreneurship
Kukoyi
Entrepreneurship is the talent, knowledge and willingness individual has to engage in an activity that can result in new kind of firm
Addin
what is the short run industry supply curves?
james
I think there' s a mistake. P = - 0.4 + 0.2Qs is the supply curve and not the demand curve. Am I correct?
Valeria Reply
Qs is quantity supplied
The
This is what I think
The
this eaquation is supply curve Qs=P-0.4 the relationship is positive when the price increase the Qs increase....
mukhtaar
since Qs is quantity supplied P= -0.4 + 0.2Qs =>P +0.4=0.2Qs =>P/0.2 + 0.4=Qs I made Qs the subject of the formula or equation. So your answer is correct
The
P = -0.4 + 0.2Qs is the same as P/0.2+0.4=Qs Price has a direct relationship with the quantity supplied i.e the higher the price the higher the quantity supplied. that is why it is +0.4(this is the quantity and it is postive) and P/O.2(is the price and it is positive).
The
For the demand equation let me give an example 0.2P-0.4=Qd. Here the P is postive(+0.2) and the quantity which is -O.4 is negative( because of the negative sign(-) there is an inverse relationship between price and quantity. For quantity demanded the higher the price the lower the quantuty.
The
It's how I understand it
The
0.2P-0.4=Qd. the equation is wrong because the price have direct ralationship Quantity demanded but the correct equation is-0.2P -0.4=Qd so the higher price the lower Quantity
mukhtaar
I think the relationship is inverse because of the negative sign(-)
The
ok You mean the price and quantity demanded should be negative(inverse relationship) for Qd and the price and quantity supplied should be postive(direct relationship) for Qs
The
thank you for the correction
The
yes because it got a positive gradient of +0.2
Michael
This is the mistake I found: "Since P is on the vertical axis, it is easiest if you solve each equation for P. The demand curve is then P = 8 – 0.5Qd and the demand curve is P = –0.4 + 0.2Qs. Note that the vertical intercepts are 8 and –0.4, and the slopes are –0.5 for demand and 0.2 for supply."
Valeria
dear price do not depend on quantity. rather quantity depends on price. so the equation should be Qty=0.2Px-0.4
Michael
please can someone generate supply equation for me
David Reply
ok
Detto
Qs=f(P,Pr,G,E,Z,Pf,)
The
where p is price, Pr is price of related goods, G is goals of a firm E is supplier's future expectation of prices,Z is other related factors, Pf is cost of factors of production.
The
I think it's wrong
The
if Qd=90-p Qs=90+p
The
the coefficient of price must be positive since supply curve is positively slopping
Kotey
yes
The
it's true. thank you
The
welcome
Kotey
ok
The
OK, thank you
David
no one can do that, you must determine the the key factors for the commodity, like price, income, prices of alternative commodity, and other factors, if you want the main equation, you must have 4 values, 2 values for each quantity and price, for one commodity
Asd
yh
Kyereme
diagram of perfectly inelastic
Muhd Reply
chi-square test is used to test A. Analysis of variance B. Association between the qualitative variables C. Difference between means of two distribution drawn from the same population D. Difference between the means of two distribution drawn from different population
Syk Reply
the Answer Should Be D
Amanuel
Confirm?
Syk
A
Satyanarayana
The answers is D
Lawrence
Thank you
Syk
What is economic?
bilya
is the system that study the difference between resources and the growth population
Messi
Economics studies humanbehaviour as a relation between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses
Kotey
rigth .....but economic has different concepts
Messi
yes
Kotey
what is equilibrium
Obed Reply
it is that point where price is equal to output or rather a point where demand is equal to supply
Fung
it is a point where consumer get maximum satisfaction and producers maximise profit or minimise loss
Imtiyaz
thanks
Obed
supply equal demand in one point
Messi
it's a point where supply and demand meets/equal whether profit or loss
deany
how to compute budget constraint
Kristine Reply
how to calculate balance of payment deficit
Fung
How to calculate National income
Obed
what is indifference curves
abdullah
what,how and for whom to produce
kunle Reply
those are problem that producer face in the process of production due to scarcity
Richman
gm
Diodo
a particular selected product is produced in a systematic hygiene condition and is produced for the customers.
Madhu
what are the factors of economic growth?
Povuuro Reply
tax, imports and exports, etc
deany
Explain the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty?
moses Reply
total production diagram explain
Udayan Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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