Minimum Wage Increase Will Not Change Poverty Rates, Says Cornell Economist

Article ID: 599342

Released: 18-Feb-2013 1:00 PM EST

Source Newsroom: Cornell University

Expert Pitch

Richard Burkhauser, professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University, comments on President Obama’s call to increase minimum wage to $9 an hour.

He says:

“President Obama’s call for an increase in the minimum wage to reduce poverty flies in the face of 30 years of evidence from Card and Krueger to Neumark and Wascher that increases in the minimum wage have no affect on poverty rates.

“The reason is that most minimum wage earners are not the stereotype full time heads of poor families he provides but second or third earners in a non-poor household. The reality is that minimum wage increases are job killers for the very folks whose employment has been hit hardest by the Great Recession and its aftermath, young low skilled workers. These workers have the highest unemployment rates of all Americans and raising the minimum wage will only make it more difficult for them to find jobs in our still weak recovery.”

Download Burkhauser’s related research here:

“Are the Effects of Minimum Wage Increases Always Small? New Evidence from a Case Study of New York State.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review. April, 2012

“Minimum Wages and Poverty: Will a $9.50 Federal Minimum Wage Really Help the Working Poor?” Southern Economic Journal. Jan., 2010s

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