The minimum wage is becoming what high skill immigration was for me last spring - my new pet interest. That's probably good... maybe I should make a New Year's resolution every year to dig into a new labor topic for a couple months, just to round myself out. Anyway... two quick links:
1. Jonathan Catalan suggests we take a page from Kahneman's book and have collaborations between researchers that disagree on the minimum wage. In theory this should work fine. I don't think any of the participants in the discussion go in to cook the books, after all. I do think there is a clear difference of opinion on the best way to model this (I'm trying to narrow in on this issue in something I'm writing right now) That could prevent some collaboration and of course that is what's highly correlated with certain results. But if people could hash differences on that point out together, sure that could be constructive. It's a good idea on any issue, actually.
2. A couple days ago the New York Times reported on people crossing state borders to take advantage of higher minimum wages. This has been in the back of my mind throughout this debate, as this sort of displacement that screws up quasi-experimental studies is a major focus of one of my dissertation chapters. It's not entirely clear how this should affect the estimate. Think of a price floor in a standard competitive model. Shift the supply curve to the right. What happens to employment? Nothing if you're assuming the competitive model. Now you would have employment reduced in the sending state, so in a difference in differences set-up you'd bias the estimate up. But that just begs the question - why would they cross the border if employment opportunities contract rather than expand as a result of the minimum wage? For that matter, why wouldn't you have the opposite effect under the competitive model - people without a job crossing the border to the low-minimum wage state where wages may be lower but at least they can get a job? That would bias it down. So the net impact gets very unclear very quickly. That does not mean, of course, that it's not important to consider.
We should have the data to look at this in the ACS (ACS I believe has both county of work and county of residence... I could be misremembering). Somebody
should to get a sense of whether it's negligible or needs attending to
in future work. An alternative is to do the same analysis with employer
based surveys and employee based surveys, which would give you an upper
and lower bound. (Actually, Dube has already done this latter suggestion and it doesn't seem to qualitatively change the results).
UPDATE: I forgot:
3. Jared Bernstein on the CBO on the minimum wage.
4. Arin Dube on time series econometrics and the minimum wage (if you look back at the literature there's a lot of old papers on this but not a lot of new ones... there's a reason for that).
Food For Thought
1 hour ago