This is coming up on a year old now, but it's excellent. Jared Bernstein does a phenomenal job drilling down to the real issues. I can also say that Russ Roberts is wrong on at least one point. He says that some empirical studies say one thing and some say another and nobody is ever convinced either way because of our ideology. So that's certainly not true. My mind was changed. I used to think that the minimum wage reduced employment for all the reasons that are typically stated. When I was required to read the empirical work on it in my labor classes I started to doubt that, and particularly in the last several years with the spate of new work that has come out my view has been solidly changed because I think that there is far stronger evidence that the minimum wage does not have disemployment effects.
I'm not saying that is universal - that it could never have those effects. In certain labor markets it probably does and if you jacked the minimum wage up to $15 or $20 it certainly would. But I don't think anyone would question that.
So Russ, I'm one. If I have been convinced by the evidence after holding an alternative viewpoint surely there are others. I think we are at a really critical time in this literature. The differences between the two empirical approaches is crystallizing, which means people are going to be better equipped to evaluate who has the better argument. I'm writing a short piece on that right now, and hopefully we can talk more about it in the future.
Comparative advantage: a partial truth
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