Minimum Wage as An Ethical Issue


  • Beyza Sümer Asst. Prof. Dr., Dokuz Eylül University, Faculty of Business, Department of Economics, Izmir, Turkey



Minimum, Wage, Ethical Issue


Minimum wage is defined as the minimum amount of remuneration that employers legally have to pay to workers for the work performed during a given period, which cannot be reduced by collective agreement or an individual contract. The main purpose of the legislation is to ensure that employers do not exploit their workers, and thus it protects workers against unduly low pay. Minimum wage tries to provide a minimum living wage for a considerable amount of working people. Minimum wage exists in more than ninety per cent of the ILO member states. In recent years, global real wage growth has fallen from 1.6 percent in 2012 to 0.9 in 2015. Decrease in the earnings in the form of wages perpetuates and augments income inequalities. In order to come over ineqality gaps, many countries have adopted or strengthened minimum wages. Some researchers claim that raising the minimum wage causes job losses. They build their assertions on the assumptions of the mainstream labor market which predicts that a higher minimum wage will lead to job loss among low-skilled workers. This assumption has been corrected by other researchers that it might have such an effect in some industries and only on young people, not on the other millions of workers. Labour force and wages are the fundamental components of the labour market. However, minimum wage legislation is within the domains of economy, policy, and ethics. In that sense, minimum wage cannot be analysed and discussed in economic terms. When child labour was banned in many countries, it was not regarded as a loss in production but was thought of as praise of dignity. In this study, which the methodology is theoretical, I tried to highlight the characteristics of minimum wage in order to claim that it would be rightful to treat minimum wage within an ethical, not within an economic perspective.




How to Cite

Sümer, B. (2018). Minimum Wage as An Ethical Issue. European Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 3(1), 26–35.