IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

State Type and Congressional Voting on the Minimum Wage


  • Oren M. Levin-Waldman

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)


How members of Congress vote on increases in the minimum wage is a function of several factors, most notably party affiliation and constituent interest. But also among those factors is the existence of "right-to-work" laws in the representative's state and the presence of labor unions, especially as they represent a voting constituency. This paper examines congressional voting patterns on the minimum wage from 1949, when the first vote to increase the wage occurred, to 1996, when the last vote occurred, and finds a relationship between union strength and positive voting, a relationship between "right-to-work" states and negative voting, and a decline in the significance of unions as a factor affecting congressional voting as unionism had declined.

Suggested Citation

  • Oren M. Levin-Waldman, 1998. "State Type and Congressional Voting on the Minimum Wage," Macroeconomics 9808007, EconWPA, revised 01 Sep 1998.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9808007 Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC - PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 33; figures: included

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:mes:jeciss:v:30:y:1996:i:2:p:391-397 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Meyer, Robert H & Wise, David A, 1983. "The Effects of the Minimum Wage on the Employment and Earnings of Youth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 66-100, January.
    3. Oren M. Levin-Waldman, 1998. "Exploring the Politics of the Minimum Wage," Macroeconomics 9805010, EconWPA.
    4. James B. Kau & Donald Keenan & Paul H. Rubin, 1982. "A General Equilibrium Model of Congressional Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 271-293.
    5. Kosters, Marvin & Welch, Finis, 1972. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on the Distribution of Changes in Aggregate Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 323-332, June.
    6. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1992. "Employment Effects of Minimum and Subminimum Wages: Panel Data on State Minimum Wage Laws," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 55-81, October.
    7. Richard V. Burkhauser & T. Aldrich Finegan, 1989. "The minimum wage and the poor: The end of a relationship," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 53-71.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9808007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.