THE EFFECT OF MINIMUM WAGES ON UK AGRICULTURE

Authors

  • Richard Dickens,

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    • *Richard Dickens and Stephen Woodland are based at the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics; Stephen Machin is based at the Department of Economics, University College London and the Centre for Economic Performance; David Metcalf is based at the Department of Industrial Relations and the Centre for Economic Performance; Jonathan Wadsworth is based at the Centre for Economic Performance and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research; Alan Manning is based at the Centre for Economic Performance and the Industrial Relations Section, Princeton University. This paper was commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Welsh Office Agricultural Department, the Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland and the Scottish Office Agricultural Department. The views expressed here represent those of the authors and not necessarily the views of the commissioning departments. The authors would like to thank P. Muriel, T. F. Stainer and J. Wildgoose from the commissioning departments for their comments on an earlier draft and for their help in supplying data. We would also like to thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments.

  • Stephen Machin,

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    • *Richard Dickens and Stephen Woodland are based at the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics; Stephen Machin is based at the Department of Economics, University College London and the Centre for Economic Performance; David Metcalf is based at the Department of Industrial Relations and the Centre for Economic Performance; Jonathan Wadsworth is based at the Centre for Economic Performance and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research; Alan Manning is based at the Centre for Economic Performance and the Industrial Relations Section, Princeton University. This paper was commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Welsh Office Agricultural Department, the Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland and the Scottish Office Agricultural Department. The views expressed here represent those of the authors and not necessarily the views of the commissioning departments. The authors would like to thank P. Muriel, T. F. Stainer and J. Wildgoose from the commissioning departments for their comments on an earlier draft and for their help in supplying data. We would also like to thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments.

  • Alan Manning,

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    • *Richard Dickens and Stephen Woodland are based at the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics; Stephen Machin is based at the Department of Economics, University College London and the Centre for Economic Performance; David Metcalf is based at the Department of Industrial Relations and the Centre for Economic Performance; Jonathan Wadsworth is based at the Centre for Economic Performance and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research; Alan Manning is based at the Centre for Economic Performance and the Industrial Relations Section, Princeton University. This paper was commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Welsh Office Agricultural Department, the Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland and the Scottish Office Agricultural Department. The views expressed here represent those of the authors and not necessarily the views of the commissioning departments. The authors would like to thank P. Muriel, T. F. Stainer and J. Wildgoose from the commissioning departments for their comments on an earlier draft and for their help in supplying data. We would also like to thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments.

  • David Metcalf,

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    • *Richard Dickens and Stephen Woodland are based at the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics; Stephen Machin is based at the Department of Economics, University College London and the Centre for Economic Performance; David Metcalf is based at the Department of Industrial Relations and the Centre for Economic Performance; Jonathan Wadsworth is based at the Centre for Economic Performance and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research; Alan Manning is based at the Centre for Economic Performance and the Industrial Relations Section, Princeton University. This paper was commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Welsh Office Agricultural Department, the Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland and the Scottish Office Agricultural Department. The views expressed here represent those of the authors and not necessarily the views of the commissioning departments. The authors would like to thank P. Muriel, T. F. Stainer and J. Wildgoose from the commissioning departments for their comments on an earlier draft and for their help in supplying data. We would also like to thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments.

  • Jonathan Wadsworth,

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    • *Richard Dickens and Stephen Woodland are based at the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics; Stephen Machin is based at the Department of Economics, University College London and the Centre for Economic Performance; David Metcalf is based at the Department of Industrial Relations and the Centre for Economic Performance; Jonathan Wadsworth is based at the Centre for Economic Performance and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research; Alan Manning is based at the Centre for Economic Performance and the Industrial Relations Section, Princeton University. This paper was commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Welsh Office Agricultural Department, the Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland and the Scottish Office Agricultural Department. The views expressed here represent those of the authors and not necessarily the views of the commissioning departments. The authors would like to thank P. Muriel, T. F. Stainer and J. Wildgoose from the commissioning departments for their comments on an earlier draft and for their help in supplying data. We would also like to thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments.

  • Stephen Woodland

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    • *Richard Dickens and Stephen Woodland are based at the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics; Stephen Machin is based at the Department of Economics, University College London and the Centre for Economic Performance; David Metcalf is based at the Department of Industrial Relations and the Centre for Economic Performance; Jonathan Wadsworth is based at the Centre for Economic Performance and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research; Alan Manning is based at the Centre for Economic Performance and the Industrial Relations Section, Princeton University. This paper was commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Welsh Office Agricultural Department, the Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland and the Scottish Office Agricultural Department. The views expressed here represent those of the authors and not necessarily the views of the commissioning departments. The authors would like to thank P. Muriel, T. F. Stainer and J. Wildgoose from the commissioning departments for their comments on an earlier draft and for their help in supplying data. We would also like to thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments.


Abstract

Since the abolition of the Wages Councils in September 1993, agriculture is the only sector in the UK economy covered by any form of minimum wage legislation. However, the recent denunciation of an ILO convention covering minimum wages in agriculture has paved the way for the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Boards. This paper investigates the impact of the system of minimum wages on the level and structure of earnings and employment in agriculture. On wages, our main conclusion is that the minimum wages set by the Agricultural Wages Boards are important determinants of the average level and distribution of earnings in UK agriculture. On employment, our main conclusion is that there is no evidence that minimum wages have reduced the level of employment in agriculture. If anything, our estimates imply a weak positive, though statistically insignificant, impact of minimum wages on employment. This seems to be true when we disaggregate by sex and skill.

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