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Minimum Wages and Youth Employment: Evidence from the Finnish Retail Trade Sector



Following an agreement between the trade unions and the employer organizations in 1993, Finnish employers could temporarily pay less than the existing minimum wage for young workers. We examine the effects of these minimum wage exceptions by comparing the changes in wages and employment of the groups whose minimum wages were reduced with simultaneous changes among slightly older workers for whom the minimum wages remained unchanged. Our analysis is based on payroll record data and minimum wage agreements from the retail trade sector. The results show that average wages in the eligible group declined only modestly. We find no significant effects on employment.