David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Economics and Philosophy 20 (2):351-374 (2004)
This paper develops a normative evaluation of the minimum wage in the light of recent evidence and theory about its effects. It argues that the minimum wage should be evaluated using a consequentialist criterion that gives priority to the jobs and incomes of the worst off. This criterion would be accepted by many different types of consequentialism, especially given the two major views about what the minimum wage does. One is that the minimum wage harms the jobs and incomes of the worst off and the other is that it does neither much harm nor much good. The paper then argues at length that there are no important considerations besides jobs and incomes relevant to the assessment of the minimum wage. It criticizes exploitation arguments for the minimum wage. It is not clear that the minimum wage would reduce exploitation and the paper doubts that, if it did, it would do so in a morally significant way. The paper then criticizes freedom arguments against the minimum wage by rejecting appeals to self-ownership and freedom of contract and by arguing that no freedom of significance is lost by the minimum wage that is not already taken account of in the main consequentialist criterion. The conclusion is that, at worst, the minimum wage is a mistake and, at best, something to be half-hearted about. Footnotes1 My thanks to Paul Brown and Jerry Cohen for their written and verbal help, Andrew Williams for long discussions of this paper, two anonymous referees and the editors, and audiences at the Universities of Auckland, Newcastle, and Reading.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Denis G. Arnold & Norman E. Bowie (2003). Sweatshops and Respect for Persons. Business Ethics Quarterly 13 (2):221-242.
Creighton Peden (1980). Minimum Wage, Indexing, And The General Well-Being of Workers. Journal of Social Philosophy 11 (2):22-25.
Hani Ofek-Ghendler (2009). Globalization and Social Justice: The Right to Minimum Wage. Law and Ethics of Human Rights 3 (2):267-300.
Ronald A. Cordero (2000). Morality and the Minimum Wage. Journal of Social Philosophy 31 (2):207–222.
S. J. Chapman (1908). Book Review:Sweated Industry and the Minimum Wage. Clementina Black. [REVIEW] Ethics 18 (2):266-.
James A. Anderson & Charles Weijer (2002). The Research Subject as Wage Earner. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 23 (4-5):359-376.
Robert Kolb & Jeffrey Moriarty (2011). Dialogue - CEO Compensation. Business Ethics Quarterly 21 (4):679-691.
Trisha B. Phillips (2011). A Living Wage for Research Subjects. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 39 (2):243-253.
Glen Whitman (1996). Myth, Measurement, and the Minimum Wage: Sound and Fury Signifying What? Critical Review 10 (4):607-619.
Norman E. Bowie (2003). Sweatshops and Respect for Persons. Business Ethics Quarterly 13 (2):221-242.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads77 ( #25,865 of 1,696,303 )
Recent downloads (6 months)17 ( #29,055 of 1,696,303 )
How can I increase my downloads?