Wage Hikes Won’t Boost the Economy

By: Joseph Sabia, San Diego State University

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has introduced a bill that would add New York to the list of states whose minimum wage rises with inflation each year. His proposal follows last year’s New York City-specific plan to create a “living wage” of $10 an hour with benefits.

Advocates for wage increases like these have historically focused on their potential to fight poverty and reduce income inequality. Perhaps because minimum wages have been ineffective in achieving these ends, proponents have moved on to a new pledge: Higher minimum wages will provide a macroeconomic stimulus.

But evidence suggests steadily increasing the minimum wage does more harm than good to the broader economy.

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