Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Misleading poll - Minimum wage edition

The results of a poll always depend on who is polled.

Economist's vote on the impact of minimum wage. This panel, as they say, is built "to be geographically diverse, and to include Democrats, Republicans and Independents". This panel was split about 50/50 on the harmful effects.

But this sample isn't likely a representative sample of economists. (My glance noted many left-wing economists.) Further, it's from mostly academic economists, who tend to be more left-wing than non-academics.

Robert Murphy's blog post here has a better grasp on the situation.

What he points out (from other work):

"A 2000 survey by Dan Fuller and Doris Geide-Stevenson reports that of a sample of 308 economists surveyed by the American Economic Association, 45.6% fully agreed with the statement, “a minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers”, 27.9% agreed with provisos ..."


"Another survey in 2007 conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center found that 73% of labor economists surveyed in the United States believed 150% of the then-current minimum wage would result in employment losses and 68% believed a mandated minimum wage would cause an increase in hiring of workers with greater skills. 31% felt that no hiring changes would result."

Those 27.9-31% - I would like to know who they are. I don't care what their credentials supposedly are, I don't think people should take them seriously as economists. To think that a minimum wage increase wouldn't increase unemployment means their ideology is overwhelming any impartial analysis. (Note, even those who support an increase should know that it increases unemployment.)

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