NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effects of Living Wage Laws: Evidence from Failed and Derailed Living Wage Campaigns

Scott Adams, David Neumark

NBER Working Paper No. 11342
Issued in May 2005
NBER Program(s):   LS

Living wage campaigns have succeeded in about 100 jurisdictions in the United States but have also been unsuccessful in numerous cities. These unsuccessful campaigns provide a better control group or counterfactual for estimating the effects of living wage laws than the broader set of all cities without a law, and also permit the separate estimation of the effects of living wage laws and living wage campaigns. We find that living wage laws raise wages of low-wage workers but reduce employment among the least-skilled, especially when the laws cover business assistance recipients or are accompanied by similar laws in nearby cities.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11342

Published: Adams, Scott and David Neumark. "The Effects Of Living Wage Laws: Evidence From Failed And Derailed Living Wage Campaigns," Journal of Urban Economics, 2005, v58(2,Sep), 177-202.

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