The dark history of the minimum wage

We read today that the national minimum wage will increase by 20p an hour to £6.70 from October, and that this will benefit more than 1.4 million workers. What we hardly ever hear from politicians is how many people will feel the costs of this increase, in addition to the people who are already being […]

Economic Nonsense: 12. Minimum wage rates raise living standards for the low paid

When minimum wage rates per hour are set by law, it can raise the wages of those already in jobs and who manage to stay in those jobs.  It has a negative effect on those who lose their jobs because firms no longer find them worth employing at the new rates.  It has negative effects, […]

To be serious about inequality for a moment

The Office of National Statistics has just released figures on incomes in the UK. Giving us that interesting little chart above. Do note that that is income of those who are in the tax system. And also that it does not include the impact of the benefits system. So this doesn’t include subsidy to housing […]

Cameron’s ‘full employment’ pledge isn’t very convincing

Earlier today in Ipswich, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to turn Britain into a nation of “full employment”, aiming to overtake Germany for the top percentage of people in work. From the BBC: The PM is aiming for Britain to have the highest percentage of people in work of any developed nation. Labour said the […]

Minimum wage debate: probably not over

The debate among economists over whether (higher) minimum wages cause (more) unemployment seems to go on forever. Most published results (and an even greater fraction of methodologically sound published results) find that minimum wages reduce employment. But this doesn’t settle the result, and smart, eminent economists like Arindrajit Dube publish papers arguing that with different methodologies and/or […]