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Are We Teaching Outside the Box? A National Survey on Teaching the Minimum Wage in Undergraduate Economics Classes


  • Veronika Dolar


The purpose of this paper is to study how professors in the US teach about the minimum wage. Results of a survey suggest that almost all instructors cover the topic of minimum wage in their introductory courses and tend to cover this topic in a similar manner to how it is covered in introductory textbooks: by focusing on the employment effects of the minimum wage in the neoclassical model. In addition, instructors have relatively conservative views about the minimum wage effect and tend to agree that the minimum wage negatively impacts low-skilled workers. Finally, there seems to be a small “liberal bias” where instructors who are in favor of the minimum wage are less likely to teach the standard labor supply-demand model, and a larger “conservative bias” where instructors who tend to believe in the negative impact of a minimum wage are less likely to discuss the assumption of monopsony in the labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Veronika Dolar, 2020. "Are We Teaching Outside the Box? A National Survey on Teaching the Minimum Wage in Undergraduate Economics Classes," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(1), pages 51-74, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:fosoec:v:49:y:2020:i:1:p:51-74
    DOI: 10.1080/07360932.2015.1103769

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey Clemens, 2021. "How Do Firms Respond to Minimum Wage Increases? Understanding the Relevance of Non-employment Margins," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 51-72, Winter.

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