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Minimum Wage (Chain of Analysis)

Level:
AS, A Level, IB
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 12 Jan 2019

This short revision video provides an example of how to build a clear chain of analytical reasoning on the issue of how business profits might be affected by an increase in the minimum wage.

Minimum Wage (Chain of Reasoning)

A minimum wage is a legally protected pay floor in the labour market. An employer cannot pay below it.

One possible effect of a higher minimum wage is that a business such as a fast-food provider will experience a rise in their variable costs.

This is because hourly wage costs will increase leading to a rise in total variable costs.

Assuming that labour productivity remains constant, then average variable cost will rise and so too will marginal and average total cost.

As a result of an upward shift in costs, the profit margin that firms make will fall. This is shown in my analysis diagram.

The effect on profit then depends on whether a firm passes on higher costs to consumers which in turn depends on price elasticity of demand

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