Minimum wages and employment: Comment

Ian Watson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Does increasing the minimum wage lead to employment losses? For many years most economists thought that the answer to this was a straightforward 'yes'. However, research during the 1990s began to overturn this conventional wisdom and showed that increases in the minimum wage did not automatically lead to employment losses. A recent Australian study, by Leigh (2003), examined the impact of statutory minimum wages at Western Australia and reached conclusions which supported the conventional view. However, close scrutiny of Leigh's article shows that it is fundamentally flawed. Despite Leigh's efforts, it remains the case that we simply do not know a great deal about the employment impact of Australia's system of minimum wages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-172
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Economic Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


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