Ali dvig minimalne plače koristi “revnim revežem”?

Glede na neposrečeno in neprimerno izjavo generalne direktorice GZS Sonje Šmuc, da bo napovedan dvig minimalne plače za 5.2% iz nas naredil družbo “bogatih revežev“, poglejmo, ali dvig minimalne plače koristi “revnim revežem“, torej tistim, ki nimajo te sreče, da bi bili bogati ali direktorji (vnaprej se opravičujem za ta izraz – ni mišljen slabšalno, pač pa je zgolj aluzija na neposrečen in neprimeren termin Sonje Šmuc). Poglejmo si učinke dviga minimalne plače na 15 dolarjev (na uro) v Seattlu. Na koncu boste videli, kako dva ideološko povsem različna nazora lahko prideta do podobnih ugotovitev.

In addition, there’s a strong possibility that a higher minimum wage will raise incomes for many of the people who need it most. The latest research is encouraging.

First, there’s the latest update to the study of Seattle’s 2016 decision to raise its wage floor to $15, which gave economists a unique opportunity to study the impact of a large minimum wage hike in real time. A team of economists has been taking advantage of detailed data provided by the state to track the fates of individual workers affected by the policy.

The team has been releasing one paper every year. In 2017, it reported that the minimum wage increase was having negative effects, raising wages by only a small amount and reducing low-wage workers’ hours, resulting in an overall income loss. That result, which found more negative labor market impacts than most minimum wage studies, injected some uncertainty into the debate.

The team’s 2018 results are more reassuring. They show that although higher minimum wages did contribute to a reduction in working hours, the gain in wages more than made up for it, with overall weekly incomes going up by an average of $8 to $12. That’s a modest amount, but every little bit helps.

Other papers are even more encouraging. A recent study by economist Arindrajit Dube finds that a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage will tend to increase incomes for the poorest 15 percent of families by about 3.3 percent after 3 years, while cutting their poverty rate substantially. Dube uses publicly available survey data rather than the higher-quality administrative data used by the Seattle team. But he is able to analyze a much larger number of minimum wage hikes, at both the federal and state level.

Another recent paper, by economists David Neumark, Brian Asquith, and Brittany Bass, studies the effect of various anti-poverty policies, including the minimum wage, on incomes in poverty-stricken areas. It finds that a higher minimum wage results in lower poverty rates in those areas 10 years later. Their estimate of the size of effect is about half as large as what Dube finds, but still fairly substantial.

It’s especially noteworthy that these two papers agree about the minimum wage’s impact. The two lead researchers have been at loggerheads for years over the question of the minimum wage’s effect on employment levels — Dube’s papers tend to find that minimum wage hikes cause very little job loss, while Neumark’s tend to reach the opposite conclusion. The fact that their latest papers agree that minimum wage reduces long-run poverty should be taken as especially compelling evidence.

Vir: Noah Smith, Bloomberg Opinion

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