This report seeks to provide clarity on the topic of minimum wage legislation by contextualizing the debate and detailing sector-specific empirical evidence of minimum wage legislation’s impact in South Africa given the country’s unique historical, social and economic context.
The authors propose that in its application by policymakers, minimum wage policy should focus on its initial intended purpose – ensuring that workers receive remuneration at a particular threshold to provide for their basic needs. Beyond that, the minimum wage should not be used as the primary tool to accomplish other political and economic goals, such as increasing average wages or promoting social development.
America’s working class families have witnessed a daunting trend over the last 30 years – one marked by wage stagnation and rising costs. Worker productivity rose by nearly 65 percent, yet American workers saw their wages remain stagnant in real terms, and in some cases, even decline.
What role did a rising minimum wage play in reducing wage inequality in Brazil in the first decade of the 21st century? Is it reasonable to expect that the policy of tying minimum wage to economic growth will continue to act as a key driver of inequality reduction in the near future?