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Non-Wage Job Attributes

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Tyler Cowen recently posted [2] the abstract to the new paper [3] by Jeffrey Clemens, Lisa B. Kahn, and Jonathan Meer on the negative impact of minimum wages on workers’ fringe benefits non-wage job attributes.

I love this comment [4] offered by my and Tyler’s GMU Econ colleague Dan Klein:

It pays to speak of non-wage job attributes, as some labor economists do, rather than “fringe benefits.” Many significant attributes other than wage characterize the job, but many of those are not aptly termed “fringe benefits”—e.g., work demands, schedule flexibility, attention and sympathy, etc.

Just as a focus on the wage attribute eclipses fringe benefits, a focus on fringe benefits eclipses neither-wage-nor-fringe-benefit attributes.

There are more attributes than dreampt of in their philosophy. Saying non-wage job attributes expresses humility in the face of all possible adverse impacts on non-wage job attributes.

See also this earlier, related post detailing Dan’s detailing of the complexities of labor contracts [5].

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