Research

  • The Non-Working Poor and a $15 Minimum Wage

    April 2016

    One of the most cited reasons for increasing the minimum wage is that it’s necessary in order to reduce poverty rates. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that his $15 wage proposal – now an impending reality for many in the state – “will lift more than 250,000 New Yorkers out of poverty.” Skeptics of the policy have highlighted the potential for job loss among employees that a $15 minimum wage [...]
  • Fairness vs. Flexibility: An Evaluation of the District of Columbia’s Proposed Scheduling Regulations

    March 2016

    The debate over whether to raise the minimum wage has expanded in recent years to encompass demands for additional workplace benefits. These include health care, paid sick leave, and most recently the availability of a “fair” schedule. The City of San Francisco was the first to enact legislation on this latter point, enacting the Formula Retail Employee Rights Ordinance on July 3, 2015. San Francisco’s law requires most “chain” stores, as well as [...]
  • The Impact of a $12 Minimum Wage in Maine

    March 2016

    Proponents of a higher minimum wage in Maine, led by the state AFL-CIO, have gathered enough signatures to put their proposed $12 minimum wage to a vote this November. Executive Director Matt Schlobohm defended the proposed 60 percent increase with a moral appeal: “Working people deserve fair wages…they deserve better than poverty for full-time work.” The accumulated evidence, including a new analysis specific to Maine, shows that a wage increase will not deliver these [...]
  • What’s in a (Brand) Name?: A Comparison Of Minimum Wage Effects on Franchise and Non-Franchise Businesses

    January 2016

    One unique feature of recent local minimum wage battles is the focus on franchise businesses. In Seattle, for instance, a minimum wage of $15 took effect in 2015 with multiple phase-in paths that depend on the business size (as measured by number of employees), with smaller businesses being granted more time to adapt to the mandate. Under the Seattle law, an independent, locally-owned franchise business is [...]
  • The Effects of Minimum Wage Increases on Means-Tested Government Assistance

    December 2015

    One of the more popular contemporary arguments for raising the minimum wage is that it will save taxpayers money. Specifically, proponents of a higher minimum wage have argued that taxpayers “subsidize” employers who provide entry-wage jobs, and that raising the minimum wage could reduce employees’ reliance on social safety net programs. The proof to support such a claim has so far been thin. One 2015 report [...]
  • By Big Labor and For Big Labor: A Case Study from San Francisco of Union Involvement in the Legislative Process

    November 2015

    Since early 2012, labor unions and the left-wing pressure groups they fund have attacked conservative policy organizations for assisting state and local legislators in developing legislation. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the AFL-CIO in particular have loudly denounced “corporate interests” for funding these groups. However, many of the same unions and left-wing pressure groups employ nearly identical tactics to develop and enact liberal policies. San Francisco’s 2014 effort [...]