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Do minimum wages reduce crime? No – in fact, the opposite seems to be the case [2]. (HT my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy) Here’s the abstract from a new paper by Zachary S. Fone, Joseph J. Sabia, and Resul Cesur:

An April 2016 Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) report advocated raising the minimum wage to deter crime. This recommendation rests on the assumption that minimum wage hikes increase the returns to legitimate labor market work while generating minimal adverse employment effects. This study comprehensively assesses the impact of minimum wages on crime using data from the 1998-2016 Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), and National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY). Our results provide no evidence that minimum wage increases reduce crime. Instead, we find that raising the minimum wage increases property crime arrests among those ages 16-to-24, with an estimated elasticity of 0.2. This result is strongest in counties with over 100,000 residents and persists when we use longitudinal data to isolate workers for whom minimum wages bind. Our estimates suggest that a $15 Federal minimum wage could generate criminal externality costs of nearly $2.4 billion.

Also on the minimum wage, here’s evidence from Denmark that the minimum wage does indeed reduce the employment of low-skilled workers [3].

Mark Perry has some evidence on an effect of the minimum wage on New York City’s restaurants [4].

In my most-recent column for AIER, I agree with my late, great colleague Jim Buchanan that much of what the state does is indeed predatory [5].

David Henderson is keeping his copy of Peter Berger’s 1986 book, The Capitalist Revolution [6].

I share Dan Mitchell’s admiration for the work of the late Bernard Siegan [7].

Very sad news: Alan Krueger has died at the far-too-young age of 58 [8].

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