A Reassessment of the New Economics of the Minimum Wage Literature with Monthly Data from the Current Population Survey

Research Report

A Reassessment of the New Economics of the Minimum Wage Literature with Monthly Data from the Current Population Survey

Abstract

We estimate the employment effects of federal minimum wage increases using monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) data from 1979 through 1997. We find that the empirical differences in the new minimum wage literature based on CPS data primarily can be traced to alternative methods of controlling for macroeconomic conditions. We argue that the macroeconomic controls commonly included in models where no employment impact is found are inappropriate. We consistently find a significant but modest negative relationship between minimum wage increases and teenage employment using alternative controls or allowing employer responses to the policy to occur with some delay.

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