National Productivity Week 27th November 2023 | Visit Website

A diverse community of
leading experts, policymakers
and practitioners

The Institute’s key research themes
are led by ten academic partners
spread across the UK.

Businesses are crucial to solving
the UK’s productivity problems.

We’re a UK-wide research
organisation exploring what
productivity means for business

Businesses are crucial to solving
the UK’s productivity problems.

Minimum Wage and Skills: Evidence from Job Vacancy Data

Low-wage occupations tend to be populated by workers with low levels of education. An increase in the minimum wage, while designed to protect workers in the lower part of the wage distribution, might result in unintended consequences for those same workers. In this paper, we study firms’ reaction to higher minimum wages, exploiting a change to the minimum-wage policy in the UK in 2016. We document how an increase in the minimum wage affects the labour hiring for different education and technical skill levels of workers. The results show that an increase in the minimum wage compressed both the demand for low educated workers and the demand for workers with low levels of technical skills (tech workers) for graduates in low and middle skilled occupations. Using a difference-in-differences framework, we find that a large and unexpected change to the minimum wage led to a 11 percentage point decrease in the proportion of non-graduate vacancies and a 15 percentage point decline in the share of low-tech ads. There is evidence for labour-labour substitution at the low-end of the skill distribution and labour-technology substitution for more educated workers as a way to compensate for labour costs increases.


  • Measurement & methods