Minimum Wage and Economists

Back in October of 2006, the Economic Policy Institute released a paper that made lots of headlines.  The title of the paper was “Hundreds of Economists Say: Raise the Minimum Wage”.  In it, 659 economists signed on for support of raising the minimum wage to $7.25 which is apropos of the current debate in Congress over just this issue.

The Econ Journal Review has just released a fascinating (if you’re an economics geek) paper which sent a questionaire to the 659 signatories of the first paper asking them about their support of raising the minimum wage.  95 of the signatories completed the questionaire and the results are very interesting.  The survey was broken into to broad mechanisms, labor-market and socio-political.  Almost all of the support for raising the minimum wage fell into the socio-political bucket, i.e. a moral, philosophical reasoning vs. an economics reasoning.

The survey was meant to increase discussion between economists on this issue and the responses to the survey are fascinating.  Regardless of where you fall on the “Raise the minimum wage” issue, I highly recommend reading it.  Once done, you can get some great commentary in the comment thread for the article over at Marginal Revolution.