A Measure of Fairness: The Economics of Living Wages and Minimum Wages in the United States
In early 2007, there were approximately 140 living wage ordinances in place throughout the United States. Communities around the country frequently debate new proposals of this sort. Additionally, as a result of ballot initiatives, twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia, representing nearly 70 percent of the total U.S. population, maintain minimum wage standards above those set by the federal minimum wage.In A Measure of Fairness, Robert Pollin, Mark Brenner, Jeannette Wicks-Lim, and Stephanie Luce assess how well living wage and minimum wage regulations in the United States serve the workers they are intended to help. Opponents of such measures assert that when faced with mandated increases in labor costs, businesses will either lay off workers, hire fewer low-wage employees in the future, replace low-credentialed workers with those having better qualifications or, finally, even relocate to avoid facing the increased costs being imposed on them.The authors give an overview of living wage and minimum wage implementation in Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut to show how these policies play out in the paychecks of workers, in the halls of legislature, and in business ledgers. Based on a decade of research, this volume concludes that living wage laws and minimum wage increases have been effective policy interventions capable of bringing significant, if modest, benefits to the people they were intended to help.
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Adams's affected firms Angeles Arizona basic basic-needs threshold Boston living wage budget business-assistance businesses changes chapter city contracts cost increases coverage covered firms covered workers Current Population Survey economic employees employment growth estimate family income Fe living wage federal minimum wage figures food stamps Hartford higher wages hour impact implemented industry living standards living wage laws living wage movement living wage ordinance living wage standard local-supplier Los Angeles low-wage workers mandated wage Mark Brenner measures million minimum wage increase minimum wage laws mum wage Neumark and Adams number of workers Orleans overall percent percentage plaintiffs poverty line poverty threshold raise wages ratio relative reported restaurants ripple ripple-effect raises Robert Pollin Rotation Group sample Santa Monica Statistics Stephanie Luce turnover U.S. Census Bureau U.S. Department wage floor wage mandates wage percentile wage rate workers earning Yelowitz