The Shop Distributive & Allied Employees Association has a television advertisement out at the moment. It features a young girl, Rachel, bemoaning youth rates of pay and urging us to join her in the “fight for fair pay”. Rachel tells us she works hard to pay her way through university and it is just not fair that she does not get paid more. Perhaps a persuasive emotional tale on its own, but it is a misleading one that completely ignores empiricism. Youth wages serve an important function. They provide an incentive to employers to take on young and inexperienced staff.