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This paper reexamines the issues of compliance with and enforcement of the minimum wage law recently addressed in this Journal by Ashenfelter and Smith and by Grenier. Pursuing a more rigorous methodology we are able to add new general conclusions, and correct and reconcile some previous conflicting conclusions concerning the role of the disparity between the minimum and free market wages, the level and elasticity of labor demand, and the magnitude of deterring monetary sanctions on the noncompliance decision. Our formulation also addresses the law evasion (reduced wages) as well as the law avoidance (modified employment) aspects of the noncompliance decision, which previous formulations have ignored.
Purpose - In this paper, we introduce firm heterogeneity in the context of a model of non-compliance with minimum wage legislation.Design/methodology/approach - Theoretical modeling under government compliance policy and wages & employment under non compliance. Findings - The introduction of heterogeneity in the ease with which firms can be monitored for non compliance allows us to show that non-compliance will persist in sectors which are relatively difficult to monitor, despite the government implementing non stochastic monitoring. Moreover, we show that the incentive not to comply is an increasing function of the level of the minimum wage and increasing function of the gap between the minimum wage and the competitive wage rate.Originality/value - We have shown why non compliance persists in certain sectors of activity despite frequent inspection by government agencies.