Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Discussion at the SPEL Banquet

While attending the Society for Politics, Economics, and the Law's end of year bash, I was discussing a few topics of interest with the folks at my table.

We talked about immigration and the proposed great wall of America. We also discussed the minimum wage and ended up talking about South Park a lot. We also commented on sex education and a variety of other topics.

We then listened to Dr. Yuri Maltsev speak on the two types of socialism and how the lack of economic freedom is killing much of the world. Oh yeah... and socialism doesn't work.

I will let Travis talk about the Maltsev talk a bit more.

I want to pose this question, which I have often thought about and am not sure what empirical work has been done on the subject:

Does an increase in the minimum wage slow upward mobility? In general I wouldn't think so since job change is frequent, but is this increased job churn related to the inability for an individual to move upwardly in one firm? Is upward mobility slowed within a firm because of the increase in the price floor on wages?

Also, from a policy standpoint, have increases in the minimum wage coincided with increases in the standard of living of the lowest tier or lowest quartile of income earners? It would be interesting to see the "efficacy" of a minimum wage policy from this point of view.

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