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The Effects of Living Wage Laws: Evidence from Failed and Derailed Living Wage Campaigns

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  • Scott Adams
  • David Neumark

Abstract

Living wage campaigns have succeeded in about 100 jurisdictions in the United States but have also been unsuccessful in numerous cities. These unsuccessful campaigns provide a better control group or counterfactual for estimating the effects of living wage laws than the broader set of all cities without a law, and also permit the separate estimation of the effects of living wage laws and living wage campaigns. We find that living wage laws raise wages of low-wage workers but reduce employment among the least-skilled, especially when the laws cover business assistance recipients or are accompanied by similar laws in nearby cities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11342.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Publication status: published as Adams, Scott and David Neumark. "The Effects Of Living Wage Laws: Evidence From Failed And Derailed Living Wage Campaigns," Journal of Urban Economics, 2005, v58(2,Sep), 177-202.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11342

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  1. David Neumark & Scott Adams, 2000. "Do Living Wage Ordinances Reduce Urban Poverty?," NBER Working Papers 7606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Scott Adams & David Neumark, 2004. "When Do Living Wages Bite?," PPIC Working Papers 2004.09, Public Policy Institute of California.
  3. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2003. "Some Evidence on Race, Welfare Reform, and Household Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 293-298, May.
  4. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis, 1984. "Affirmative Action and Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 269-301, April.
  6. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
  7. Burkhauser, Richard V & Couch, Kenneth A & Wittenburg, David C, 2000. "A Reassessment of the New Economics of the Minimum Wage Literature with Monthly Data from the Current Population Survey," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 653-80, October.
  8. John DiNardo & David S. Lee, 2002. "The Impact of Unionization on Establishment Closure: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Representation Elections," NBER Working Papers 8993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Scott Adams & David Neumark, 2003. "Living Wage Effects: New and Improved Evidence," NBER Working Papers 9702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Gary Fields & Ravi Kanbur, 2007. "Minimum wages and poverty with income-sharing," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 135-147, August.
  2. Neumark, David & Thompson, Matthew & Koyle, Leslie, 2012. "The Effects of Living Wage Laws on Low-Wage Workers and Low-Income Families: What Do We Know Now?," IZA Discussion Papers 7114, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Suzanne Clain, 2012. "Explaining the Passage of Living Wage Legislation in the U.S," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 40(3), pages 315-327, September.
  4. Fields, Gary S. & Kanbur, Ravi, 2005. "Minimum Wages and Poverty," Working Papers 127086, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  5. Elizabeth Powers, 2009. "The Impact of Minimum-Wage Increases: Evidence from Fast-food Establishments in Illinois and Indiana," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 365-394, December.
  6. Lester, William T., 2009. "The Impact of Living Wage Laws on Urban Economic Development Patterns and the Local Business Climate: Evidence from California Cities," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt9313w788, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.

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