The Employment Effects of Lower Minimum Wage Rates for Young Workers: Canadian Evidence



Between 1986 and 1998, six of the ten Canadian provinces abolished their lower minimum wage rates for younger teenage workers. Using data from the Canadian Labour Force Survey, this paper evaluates the effects of abolition on the employment and weekly hours worked of 15- to 16-year-olds using teenagers in provinces where there is no legislative change and young people above the age to which youth rates applied as control groups. The results provide some evidence that abolishing these youth rates significantly lowered employment and work hours of 15- to 16-year-olds, but the lack of evidence for some jurisdictions and patterns of effects using age controls do raise some questions regarding the interpretation of the results.