Economists for Minimum Wage Rises

According to a new article by Daniel Klein and Stewart Dompe in EconJournalWatch, 83.5% of US economists (and 78.8% of Australian economists) believe that “A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers”. But not all take this view. Klein and Dompe engage in a neat exercise: asking 95 US economists who signed a statement supporting an increase in the minimum wage to list their reasons.

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2 Responses to Economists for Minimum Wage Rises

  1. derrida derider says:

    Hmm – they sent out 659 questionnaires and got back 95. A survey with a response rate of just 14% has an obvious risk of severe bias, particularly one on minimum wages sent from GMU, where most recipients would be well aware of the likely priors of the surveyors. And I note they don’t tell us how many of the ‘top 15’ (who are more likely to know what they’re talking about) responded. Still, I suppose the qualitative results on the reasoning of the signatories has some interest.

    Not that I place a lot of faith in the sort of mass-canvassed statements such as the one they signed. Most of the signatories are unlikely to be familiar with the specific literature they claim to draw from, economists or not, and so it just reflects their general ideological views. I’d be just as sceptical of a similar mass statement opposing min wage increases, BTW, for the same reason.

  2. Andrew Leigh says:

    DD, I don’t think they’d claim it’s a representative survey. Nonetheless, I think it’s instructive to delve deeper into the attitudes of a group of minimum wage-supporting economists.

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