Attack on the minimum wage

Posted: 20 January 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

The Chicago Boys are back at it, attacking the latest increase in the federal minimum wage.

University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan notes that, after July 2009, the number of workers with part-time jobs began to decline, thus changing the previous trend line (that part-time jobs increased as full-time jobs declined). That’s the extent of his argument. No theory, no causal mechanism. In his view, because they occurred at the same time, the decline in part-time jobs must have been caused by the increase in the minimum wage.

In other words, if the minimum wage had stayed at $6.55, part-time employment probably would have closely followed the blue series in the chart, as it did until July 2009.

No discussion of the deepening recession and the growth of unemployment. No discussion of the number of jobs—both full-time and part-time—not being created. And certainly no discussion of the number of workers helped by the increase in the minimum wage. It’s just a repeat of the same neoclassical story: a minimum wage creates unemployment and is therefore an unwarranted intervention in the labor market.

  1. […] he blames the supply side of the labor market, just as he did in November and January, when he cited workers and what he considers to be misguided government policies (like the minimum […]

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