ECON E-1825A The Minimum Wage Debate
This course explores the debate about the minimum wage from all points of view. What is the history of the minimum wage in the US? Who is affected? Does the minimum wage reduce employment of low wage workers, as some argue? Does it have a significant impact on their incomes? Should the federal government raise the minimum wage? Abolish it? Leave it to the states? Why do some firms pay entry-level workers more than the minimum wage while other firms in the same industry do not? Students review the arguments and evidence on the minimum wage, investigate what economists have learned about its impact, understand why firms might choose to pay more than the minimum wage, review and evaluate current proposals to raise the minimum wage, and explore some of the philosophical and ethical issues raised about labor markets, income inequality, and low income workers.