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The Legislated Minimum Wage: A Survey of Much Scientific Research

My buddy Todd Melton sent to me this link to a short survey essay on a half-century of research on the consequences of minimum-wage legislation; it’s a February 1995 report by the Joint Economic Committee of the Republicans in the U.S. Congress.  A slice:

The following survey of the academic research on the minimum wage is designed to give nonspecialists a sense of just how isolated the Card, Krueger and Katz studies are.  It will also indicate that the minimum wage has wide-ranging negative effects that go beyond unemployment.  For example, higher minimum wages encourage employers to cut back on training, thus depriving low wage workers of an important means of long-term advancement, in return for a small increase in current income.  For many workers this is a very bad trade-off, but one for which the law provides no alternative.

This short survey is evidence that the science in 1995 (no less, I believe, than in 2013) has decidedly not shown that minimum-wage legislation improves, or that such legislation even fails to worsen, the economic well-being of the very workers that it is ostensibly said to help.

UPDATE: Several people seem to be unable to open the above link.  I don’t know what the problem is.  I can open it with no problem.  I will continue to look for a better link to that paper, which has an extensive list of scholarly studies on the consequences of minimum-wage legislation.


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