Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage / Edition 1

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Overview

"Most economists believe that minimum wages invariably reduce employment, but are they right? In this compelling analysis of the U.S. minimum wage, Card and Kreuger show that recent increases in the minimum wage had no adverse effect on employment. This pathbreaking book suggests that economists know less about what the invisible hand is up to than they let on."—Richard Freeman, London School of Economics and Harvard University

"Myth and Measurementis an extraordinarily important book. It will rank with seminal works in labor economics, including Gary Becker's Human Capital, Jacob Mincer's Schooling, Earnings, and Experience, Richard Freeman and James Medoff's What Do Unions Do?, and Edmund Phelp's (ed.) Microeconomic Foundations of Employment and Inflation Theory. The book will interest everyone involved in the minimum wage debates, and it will cause economists to question seriously the models they use and how they do empirical research."—Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Cornell University

"The analysis of minimum wage by Card and Krueger is both comprehensive and provocative. It challenges the received wisdom and is certain to be a major influence on all future work on the topic."—James J. Heckman, University of Chicago

"Myth and Measurement is an extraordinarily important book. It will rank with seminal works in labor economics, including Gary Becker's Human Capital, Jacob Miner's Schooling and Earnings, Richard Freeman and James Medoff's What Unions Do?, and Edmund Phelp's (ed.), Microeconomic Foundations of Employment and Inflation Theory. The book will interest everyone involved in the minimum wage debates, and it will cause economists to question seriously the models they use and how they do empirical research."—Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Cornell University

"In Card and Krueger's hands, the collage becomes a dangerous weapon; the idea that employment has fallen significantly in the wake of minimum wage increases is attacked with both new evidence and a careful look at previous studies."—Charles Brown, University of Michigan

"The most professional work ever done on this highly controversial subject."—Richard Layard, London School of Economics

The authors present a powerful new challenge to the conventional view that higher minimum wages reduce jobs for low-wage workers. A distinctive feature of their research is the use of empirical methods borrowed from the natural sciences, including comparisons between the "treatment" and "control" groups formed when minimum wage rises for some workers but not for others. Line drawings.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Economic Perspectives - Richard B. Freeman
This book offers the most careful and wide-ranging analysis of the empirical evidence on minimum wages in the United States that any social scientist could ask for.
The New Yorker - John Cassidy
Card and Krueger didn't just question the conventional wisdom; they attacked it in a novel and powerful way. Instead of concocting a mathematical model and 'testing' it with advanced statistical techniques, which is what most economists call research, they decided to test the theory in the real world. . . . The work of Card and Krueger was worth a hundred theoretical models in The American Economic Review.
Industrial and Labor Relations Review - Paul Osterman
Although this book raises very sharp questions about the practice of labor economics, the book itself is terrific. CK's creative careful, and above-the-board empirical work is a model of how to do good believable research and this book will be influential for a long time.
Journal of Economics - K.A. Couch
Clearly, this book should be read by any economist who wants to stay abreast of substantive, high level debates within the profession.... The book already has assumed an important position within the field of labor economics, and significant research in years to come is likely to revolve around its principle thesis.
The New York Observer - Joe Conason
. . . the nastiest, most unspeakable perversion of our service-based economy [is] the declining value of the minimum wage. . . . The downward pressure on wages is making this a country where working literally doesn't pay. . . . David Card and Alan Krueger show through meticulously assembled data that increasing minimum pay in the fast-food industry has no discernable effect on the number of jobs, on consumer prices, or even on employee benefits like free meals. . . . Labor markets, like so many other phenomena in the real world, are far from perfect and do not behave according to the theories of defunct economists.
The Washington Post - J.W. Anderson
A very substantial book. . . . A highly persuasive collection of evidence. . . . An exemplary book.
Industrial and Labor Relations Review - Ronald G. Ehrenberg
Myth and Measurement may well be the most important labor economics monograph of the 1990s.
Journal of Economics - K. A. Couch
Clearly, this book should be read by any economist who wants to stay abreast of substantive, high level debates within the profession.... The book already has assumed an important position within the field of labor economics, and significant research in years to come is likely to revolve around its principle thesis.
From the Publisher
"The Card-Krueger work is essentially correct: the minimum wage at levels observed in the United States has had little or no effect on employment. At the minimum, the book has changed the burden of proof in debates over the minimum, from those who stressed the potential distributional benefits of the minimum to those who stress the potential employment losses."—Richard B. Freeman, Journal of Economic Perspectives

"Card and Krueger didn't just question the conventional wisdom; they attacked it in a novel and powerful way. Instead of concocting a mathematical model and 'testing' it with advanced statistical techniques, which is what most economists call research, they decided to test the theory in the real world. . . . The work of Card and Krueger was worth a hundred theoretical models in The American Economic Review."—John Cassidy, The New Yorker

"David Card and Alan Krueger have written a book that represents a phenomenal amount of careful and honest research and that will be a classic in the minimum wage literature and also in the broader field of empirical labor economics.... A model of how to do good believable research, this book will be influential for a long time."—Paul Osterman, Industrial and Labor Relations Review

"Clearly, this book should be read by any economist who wants to stay abreast of substantive, high level debates within the profession.... The book already has assumed an important position within the field of labor economics, and significant research in years to come is likely to revolve around its principle thesis."—K. A. Couch, Journal of Economics

". . . the nastiest, most unspeakable perversion of our service-based economy [is] the declining value of the minimum wage. . . . The downward pressure on wages is making this a country where working literally doesn't pay. . . . David Card and Alan Krueger show through meticulously assembled data that increasing minimum pay in the fast-food industry has no discernable effect on the number of jobs, on consumer prices, or even on employee benefits like free meals. . . . Labor markets, like so many other phenomena in the real world, are far from perfect and do not behave according to the theories of defunct economists."—Joe Conason, The New York Observer

"Myth and Measurement . . . traverses its ground in great detail, studying every bump and dip in the landscape. . . . But that's just about what the issue requires. Card and Krueger's conclusion runs so against the grain of mainstream economic thinking, not to mention the present political consensus, that overkill seems quite appropriate. That conclusion, reached through a number of separate studies, is this: The minimum wage not only doesn't kill jobs, it may even stimulate employment. . . . Myth and Measurement should be a very important book. It essentially settles the policy debate on the minimum wage, and the economics profession should spend a good bit of time engaging in profound reflection and in testing some of the field's first principles."—Voice Literary Supplement

"Card and Krueger have written a powerful book underpinned by hard facts. . . . They explode myths and indict the prescriptions of conventional economic thinkers. Few will read this book from cover to cover, but many will quote its conclusions in the months to come."—New Statesman and Society

"A very substantial book. . . . A highly persuasive collection of evidence. . . . An exemplary book."—J.W. Anderson, The Washington Post

"Myth and Measurement may well be the most important labor economics monograph of the 1990s."—Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Industrial and Labor Relations Review

"This book offers the most careful and wide-ranging analysis of the empirical evidence on minimum wages in the United States that any social scientist could ask for."—Richard B. Freeman, Industrial and Labor Relations Review
"Although this book raises very sharp questions about the practice of labor economics, the book itself is terrific. CK's creative careful, and above-the-board empirical work is a model of how to do good believable research and this book will be influential for a long time."—Paul Osterman, Industrial and Labor Relations Review

Journal of Economic Perspectives
The Card-Krueger work is essentially correct: the minimum wage at levels observed in the United States has had little or no effect on employment. At the minimum, the book has changed the burden of proof in debates over the minimum, from those who stressed the potential distributional benefits of the minimum to those who stress the potential employment losses.
— Richard B. Freeman
Industrial and Labor Relations Review
Although this book raises very sharp questions about the practice of labor economics, the book itself is terrific. CK's creative careful, and above-the-board empirical work is a model of how to do good believable research and this book will be influential for a long time.
— Paul Osterman
Journal of Economics
Clearly, this book should be read by any economist who wants to stay abreast of substantive, high level debates within the profession.... The book already has assumed an important position within the field of labor economics, and significant research in years to come is likely to revolve around its principle thesis.
— K. A. Couch
Voice Literary Supplement
Myth and Measurement . . . traverses its ground in great detail, studying every bump and dip in the landscape. . . . But that's just about what the issue requires. Card and Krueger's conclusion runs so against the grain of mainstream economic thinking, not to mention the present political consensus, that overkill seems quite appropriate. That conclusion, reached through a number of separate studies, is this: The minimum wage not only doesn't kill jobs, it may even stimulate employment. . . . Myth and Measurement should be a very important book. It essentially settles the policy debate on the minimum wage, and the economics profession should spend a good bit of time engaging in profound reflection and in testing some of the field's first principles.
New Statesman and Society
Card and Krueger have written a powerful book underpinned by hard facts. . . . They explode myths and indict the prescriptions of conventional economic thinkers. Few will read this book from cover to cover, but many will quote its conclusions in the months to come.
The New Yorker
Card and Krueger didn't just question the conventional wisdom; they attacked it in a novel and powerful way. Instead of concocting a mathematical model and 'testing' it with advanced statistical techniques, which is what most economists call research, they decided to test the theory in the real world. . . . The work of Card and Krueger was worth a hundred theoretical models in The American Economic Review.
— John Cassidy
The New York Observer
. . . the nastiest, most unspeakable perversion of our service-based economy [is] the declining value of the minimum wage. . . . The downward pressure on wages is making this a country where working literally doesn't pay. . . . David Card and Alan Krueger show through meticulously assembled data that increasing minimum pay in the fast-food industry has no discernable effect on the number of jobs, on consumer prices, or even on employee benefits like free meals. . . . Labor markets, like so many other phenomena in the real world, are far from perfect and do not behave according to the theories of defunct economists.
— Joe Conason
The Washington Post
A very substantial book. . . . A highly persuasive collection of evidence. . . . An exemplary book.
— J.W. Anderson
The New Yorker
Card and Krueger didn't just question the conventional wisdom; they attacked it in a novel and powerful way. Instead of concocting a mathematical model and 'testing' it with advanced statistical techniques, which is what most economists call research, they decided to test the theory in the real world. . . . The work of Card and Krueger was worth a hundred theoretical models in The American Economic Review.
— John Cassidy
Voice Literary Supplement
Myth and Measurement . . . traverses its ground in great detail, studying every bump and dip in the landscape. . . . But that's just about what the issue requires. Card and Krueger's conclusion runs so against the grain of mainstream economic thinking, not to mention the present political consensus, that overkill seems quite appropriate. That conclusion, reached through a number of separate studies, is this: The minimum wage not only doesn't kill jobs, it may even stimulate employment. . . . Myth and Measurement should be a very important book. It essentially settles the policy debate on the minimum wage, and the economics profession should spend a good bit of time engaging in profound reflection and in testing some of the field's first principles.
Journal of Economic Perspectives
The Card-Krueger work is essentially correct: the minimum wage at levels observed in the United States has had little or no effect on employment. At the minimum, the book has changed the burden of proof in debates over the minimum, from those who stressed the potential distributional benefits of the minimum to those who stress the potential employment losses.
— Richard B. Freeman
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691048239
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.89 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
CHAPTER 1 Introduction and Overview I
CHAPTER 2 Employer Responses to the Minimum Wage: Evidence from the Fast-Food Industry 20
CHAPTER 3 Statewide Evidence on the Effect of the 1988 California Minimum Wage 78
CHAPTER 4 The Effect of the Federal Minimum Wage on Low-Wage Workers: Evidence from Cross-State Comparisons 113
CHAPTER 5 Additional Employment Outcomes 152
CHAPTER 6 Evaluation of Time-Series Evidence 178
CHAPTER 7 Evaluation of Cross-Section and Panel-Data Evidence 208
CHAPTER 8 International Evidence 240
CHAPTER 9 How the Minimum Wage Affects the Distribution of Wages, the Distribution of Family Earnings, and Poverty 276
CHAPTER 10 How Much Do Employers and Shareholders Lose? 313
CHAPTER 11 Is There an Explanation? Alternative Models of the Labor Market and the Minimum Wage 355
CHAPTER 12 Conclusions and Implications 387
References 401
Index 415

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