Audio Interview

Minimum wage legislation: effects on levels of employment

Published on February 14, 2024   29 min

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Interviewer: Today I'm interviewing Professor David Neumark, Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of California, Irvine, about how minimum wage legislation affects the level of employment. In particular, his article, 'Employment Effects of Minimum Wages', accessible at the link accompanying this interview. It is assumed that listeners have read the article. Professor Neumark is also co-director of the Center for Population, Inequality and Policy. Professor Neumark, thank you for saving the time for this interview. The basic questions, do we know what are the effects, and how certain are you of your answer? Prof. Neumark: Those are both good questions. Do we know the effects? That depends on who we is, I suppose. The question of the employment effects of minimum wages has been studied literally for over 100 years. In my book, 'Minimum Wages' with Bill Wascher, we actually cite some very early studies from the beginning of the last century. Economists have been studying this since then with increasing frequency, I think, largely over time. You'd think we would be in complete agreement by now, but we're not. The evidence ranges from - and I'm talking mainly about the US evidence here, unless I get asked specifically about other countries because it gets even harder to cover everything - but the evidence ranges, with a few exceptions from, it's hard to find an effective minimum wages unemployment, that is, it's either near zero or kind of near zero, but not statistically significant,

Minimum wage legislation: effects on levels of employment

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