The increase in unemployment in Europe is often traced, at least partially, to the existence of some rigidities in the labor market. It is common wisdom that wage inflexibilitya nd labor-marketin stitutionsi ncrease the cost in terms of unemployment of adapting to shocks. In particular, minimum- wage legislation is seen to have an important responsibility in countries where it is binding. Such legislation may have at least two, non-mutually-exclusivee,f fects. It may prevent wage distribution from adjusting, counteracting an increase in wage inequality, and/or it may lead to mounting unemployment in the low-skill segment of the labor market (...).