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Will increasing the minimum wage help the poor?


  • David Neumark
  • Mark E. Schweitzer
  • William L. Wascher


Minimum wages help some families to escape poverty, but employment losses associated with raising the minimum also appear to cause some families to fall into poverty. The authors' estimates suggest that on balance, the second of these effects outweighs the first; therefore, the net result of raising the minimum wage is an increase in the proportion of poor families.

Suggested Citation

  • David Neumark & Mark E. Schweitzer & William L. Wascher, 1999. "Will increasing the minimum wage help the poor?," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Feb.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcec:y:1999:i:feb1

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