What! Another Minimum Wage Study?
Mary Eccles, Richard B. Freeman
NBER Working Paper No. 878
The Minimum Wage Study Commission was established in 1977 to aid Congress in investigating the effects and possible consequences of two proposed changes in the minimum wage law: indexing the wage to inflation and providing for a youth differential. This paper seeks to determine to what extent the Minimum Wage Study Commission's work has been helpful in policy debate, and compares the Commission's findings with those of the more conservative American Enterprise Institute. The paper also examines whether the Commission's final product was worth three years of study and $17 million. Our overall finding is that the Commission's report appears to have had little or no policy impact. The research did little to expand upon similar studies done prior to 1977, and cannot be said to be worth three years and $17 million. However, policy-makers still regard the report as a useful and credible examination of the effects of the mini- mum wage on the economy.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0878
Published: Eccles, Mary, Richard B. Freeman, and Daniel S. Hamermesh. "Economic Policy Assessment: The Labor Market." From The American Economic Review, Vol. 72, No. 2, pp. 226-232 AND 237-241, (May 1982). (NOTE: Reprint 274is based on BOTH W0878 and W0771.) citation courtesy of