In the introduction to their book, “Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage,” authors David Card and Alan Krueger cite a poll of economists from the late 1940s in which 90 percent of respondents agreed that raising the minimum wage increased unemployment for minimum-wage workers. Last year, however, the Initiative on Global Markets Forum at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business asked a panel of prominent economists if employment for low-wage workers in the United States would “substantially” decline if the nation’s minimum wage were increased to $15 by 2020. Only 26 percent of the economists polled agreed with that statement; 38 percent of the economists were uncertain.
What shifted the opinion among economists on the impact of raising the minimum wage? Much of the shift can be attributed to Card and Krueger’s book and the economic research that followed.