Summer Reading for Ian Harper

Today’s NYT magazine has a nice piece on the economics and politics of minimum and living wages (read it in the next 7 days, they’ll charge you for it after that). Oddly, it omits any mention of David Neumark’s work on living wages, which is the best out there (esp these two papers). Neumark is occasionally criticised for having his mind made up against minimum wages, but given that his research shows that living wages reduce poverty, that allegation doesn’t hold much water here.

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10 Responses to Summer Reading for Ian Harper

  1. Thanks, Andrew, I’ve just had a skim of the article, which looks very interesting. Do you have a comment on Card and Krueger’s work?

    “Card and Krueger agreed that the hypothesis that a rise in wages would destroy jobs was “one of the clearest and most widely appreciated in the field of economics.” Both told me they believed, at the start, that their work would reinforce that hypothesis. But in 1995, and again in 2000, the two academics effectively shredded the conventional wisdom. Their data demonstrated that a modest increase in wages did not appear to cause any significant harm to employment; in some cases, a rise in the minimum wage even resulted in a slight increase in employment.”

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  3. Andrew Leigh says:

    Mark, I believe C&K’s finding in its context (a rise in the US state minimum wage doesn’t affect teen employment in US fast-food restaurants). My guess is that this tells us something about the hiring power that the Golden Arches enjoy over 15 year olds. But given Neumark’s work, I’m more wary than C&K about extrapolating to all US minimum wages. Moreover, C&K themselves warn that their findings may not be applicable in countries with higher minimum wages than the US… and the Australian one is a lot higher.

  4. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Alex Robson has a nice piece on Card and Krueger (http://www.cis.org.au/policy/summer04-05/polsumm0405-4.pdf)

  5. Andrew Leigh says:

    Sinclair, I couldn’t get that link to open. But I suspect this is what you were intending to link to.

  6. Elliott says:

    Talking about the MW,
    this paper
    done by Baker et al. looks at the dynamic (long-term impact) of MW on labour market outcomes, using Canadian data. Might be interesting to read.

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