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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2005): Minimum Wage - UK

Minimum income standards: how might budget standards be set for the UK?

C. Deeming

Journal of Social Policy, vol.34, 2005, p.619-636

A minimum real income guaranteed for all helps to define a modern welfare state. In the UK, New Labour has set minimum income floors for large sections of the population, including pensioners, disabled people and working families with children, on a largely ad hoc basis. Many argue that the government should use "budget standards" to set and monitor minimum income levels. This approach defines levels of expenditure needed to maintain a particular predefined standard of living to arrive at a total weekly budget.

Regional evidence of the effect of the National Minimum Wage on the gender pay gap

H. Robinson

Regional Studies, vol.39, 2005, p.855-872

The variation in the proportion of low paid workers across Britain provides a "quasi" natural experiment with which to try and measure the effect of the introduction of the National Minimum Wage. All things being equal, if women are over-represented among the low paid, and the proportion of low paid workers varies across regions, one might expect to see the introduction of the NMW narrowing the overall gender pay gap by varying degrees across the country. Using difference-in-differences-type estimation on Labour Force Survey data, it is concluded that there is variation in the limited narrowing of the overall gender pay gap across regions, consistent with regional differences in the incidence and magnitude of low pay.

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