Research

  • Minimum Wages and the Business Cycle: Does a Wage Hike Hurt More in a Weak Economy?

    January 2014 Dr. Joseph Sabia

    In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama called for an increase in the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. The following month, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative George Miller (D-CA) introduced a bill to raise the wage even higher to $10.10 an hour. One year later, President Obama as well as Congressmen Harkin and Miller have agreed on the $10.10 figure. [...]
  • Counting the Cost: The Impact of an $8.25 New Jersey Minimum Wage on State and Local Government

    October 2013 David Macpherson, William Even

    This fall, New Jersey voters will decide whether to alter the state Constitution to raise the minimum wage to $8.25 and then put it on autopilot to rise in future years. The debate in the state has focused on whether or not raising the minimum wage would reduce opportunities for the entry-level workforce. But there’s another cost to consider—the financial cost to state, county, and [...]
  • Paid Sick Leave in Seattle: Examining the Impact on the Service Industry

    August 2013

    The study, based on surveys of Seattle’s service industry employers affected by the law, finds that some businesses in the city have taken measures to adapt to the costs of the new paid leave law, which took effect just under a year ago. That includes raising prices, reducing staff opportunities, and scaling back on employee benefits. The study is based on a survey of 301 service-industry [...]
  • Paid Sick Leave in Connecticut: A Pilot Study of Businesses’ Responses to the Law

    February 2013 Michael Saltsman

    "Everybody benefits." That’s what proponents of Connecticut’s first-in-the-nation state paid sick leave law told legislators and the public during the debate that preceded the law’s passage. Business owners weren’t so sure—public hearings on the legislation contained testimony from a number of businesses concerned about the effects of the law on their operations. The state’s sick leave law took effect at the beginning of 2012, and the [...]
  • Minimum Wages: Evaluating New Evidence on Employment Effects

    January 2013 David Neumark, Ian Salas

    The fierce political debate over raising the minimum wage, which is repeated yearly in legislatures across the country, has at times been matched by a strong academic debate on the subject. Specifically, economists have argued over whether a higher minimum wage reduces the employment of less-skilled jobseekers. The published research on the subject points overwhelmingly in one direction: A summary of the last two decades of [...]
  • The Labor Market Effects of Citywide Compensation Floors: Evidence from San Francisco and other “Superstar” Cities

    October 2012 Aaron Yelowitz

    San Francisco is known as the City by the Bay, but for progressive advocates of wage and benefit mandates, it’s a city on a hill. San Francisco has the highest compensation floor in the country, with (in 2012) a $10.24 minimum wage, a mandatory health care expenditure of as much as $2.20 an hour, and one hour of mandatory paid sick time for every 30 [...]