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The Employment Effects of Minimum Wages: Some Questions We Need to Answer

David Neumark

NBER Working Paper No. 23584
Issued in July 2017, Revised in October 2017
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

The literature on the employment effects of minimum wages is about a century old, and includes hundreds of studies. Yet the debate among researchers about the employment effects of minimum wages remains intense and unsettled. This essay discusses the key questions that have arisen in the past research that, if we can answer them, may prove most useful in making sense of the conflicting evidence. I also focus on additional questions we should consider to better inform the policy debate, in particular in the context of the very high minimum wages coming on line in the United States, about which past research is quite uninformative.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23584

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