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Препринт

Effects of Minimum Wages on the Russian Wage Distribution

The available minimum wage literature is mostly based on evidence from developed countries or developing countries of Latin America. Little empirical work has been done on the effects of minimum wages in transition economies, where labour institutions experienced rapid changes and law enforcement differs in many important ways. This paper presents the first empirical evidence on minimum wage effects for Russia, the largest transition economy. I use regional variation in the relative level of the federal minimum wage to identify the impact of the threefold increase in the real value of the minimum wage on the Russian wage distribution between 2005 and 2009. The analysis suggests that the minimum wage can account for the bulk of the decline in the lower tail inequality, particularly for females.