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Raising the Minimum Wage, Annotated Bibliography Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1254

Annotated Bibliography

This paper will examine whether or not an increase in the minimum wage at the federal level will help the working poor and minorities earn higher income, thereby granting them more equality. The secondary market is made up of minimum wage and low-earning jobs. As such, Shipler notes that raising the minimum wage at the federal level with close the income inequality gap that continues to hamper the United States. However, from an economic perspective, such an argument lacks validity due to the fact that raising the minimum wage would result in higher unemployment rates in addition to a variety of other adverse consequences.

Burke, Deborah et. al. “Minimum Wage and Unemployment Rates: A Study of Contiguous Counties. Gonzaga Law Review 46.661(2011). 

This paper examines the legislative history of the Fair Labor Standards Act as a means to address the plight of the working-class poor. The efficacy of this law and the mandated minimum wage has been fiercely debated in addition to its intended consequences and the unintended ramifications as well. This source provides a comprehensive history of federal minimum wage policy in addition to the controversies surrounding it from both social and economic points of view. It also takes a look at laws passed at the state level that stipulate a higher minimum wage at the state level than the federal minimum wage. It also synthesizes the results of a study that the authors conducted that compared unemployment rates in various counties that have different rates of the minimum wage in the Northwest portion of the United States.  The counties analyzed are geographically contiguous. The authors compared counties that had the largest difference in the minimum wage both as a percentage of the federal rate and in absolute terms. This gap was analyzed within the context of rising increases in the minimum wage at the state level over a protracted period of time, while other minimum wage rates in other states did not change. This study revealed that from an economic point of view, there is a strong connection between higher unemployment rates and higher minimum wage rates. Thus, this study validates my thesis by demonstrating that higher minimum wage has a disemployment effect. As such, raising the minimum wage would do more harm than good for the working poor. As such, alternative forms of fiscal assistance for the working poor who are at subsistence level or below the poverty line must be considered to effectively address poverty in the United States. This source is a valuable one because the study from which conclusions were dawn was based on data gathered over several years. Such a longitudinal study enables trends at the macro level to be analyzed, thereby granting it more currency in the conclusions drawn. This source also provides interdisciplinary analysis of the issue, which will provide nuance to my research paper.

Card, David and Alan B. Krueger, “Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.” American Economic Review 84.4 (1994): 772–9

In April of 1992, the minimum wage in New Jersey rose by almost a full dollar per hour for hourly wage jobs. The authors assessed the effect of the increased wage on employment by studying over four hundred fast food restaurants in Pennsylvania and New Jersey both before and after the hourly wage rose. The authors then compared the level of employment in the various stores where the minimum wage did not change elucidate the impact of raising the minimum wage. In addition, the authors also looked at employment levels and possible changes at stores that at first paid higher wages than the new minimum wage in comparison to the employment changes at stores that paid lower wages. The authors conclude that increasing the minimum wage did not correlate with higher rates of unemployment.  This study is somewhat reductive due to the fact that it focused on a certain region in which the minimum wage was only raised by less than a dollar. A new federal minimum wage would be a drastic increase in hourly wages in comparison to the current rate.

Kaufman, Bruce E. “Institutional Economics and the Minimum Wage: Broadening the Theoretical and Policy Debate.” Industrial & Labor Relations Review 63.427(2010). 

This article meticulously examines the economic principles involved with raising the minimum wage and how doing so would impact the American economy on a macro scale. The analysis is strictly economic, as Kaufman argues that that increasing the minimum wage would spawn various economic deficiencies because employers would hire less workers and lay more off. Unemployment would thus be rampant, which would most impact workers in lower paying jobs. Although employed workers may increase their productivity due to higher wages, fewer workers would be employed, thereby perpetuating the cycle of poverty. This article sheds light on the economics of the minimum wage

Neumark, David and William Wascher, “Minimum Wages and Low-Wage Workers: How Well  Does Reality Match the Rhetoric?” Minnesota Law Review 92.1296 (2008). 

This scholarly article takes into consideration the history of the minimum wage in the United States, discussing its initial implementation as well as the current minimum wage as stipulated by the 2007 Fair Minimum Wage Act. The authors do a cost-benefit analysis of raising the minimum wage and how doing so would impact the U.S. economy.  I agreed with the conclusion regarding the inefficacy of the minimum wage as a viable anti-poverty measure because of it would result in increased unemployment. Setting the minimum wage to the purported living wage would not provide more incentive for workers to be more productive. Moreover, it ould encourage teenagers not to stay in school because they are guaranteed high wages. This source is important for tracing the evolution of the minimum wage and how raising it would be detrimental. This article was thoroughly cited and pulled from a wide variety of sources, although there is no bibliography. There are over one hundred footnotes contained therein, which cites a wide variety of law cases that pertain to the current and past minimum wages.

Valle, Brenda.  “You Don’t Have to Reinvent the Wheel: A Comparison of Wage and Hour Laws, Their Effects on the Latino Family, and What We Can Learn from Them.” Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal 8.137(2011). 

This article adds the race into the discussion about the federal minimum wage, especially the economic problems that hamper the Latino community. As the Latino community continues to grow at an exponential rate in the U.S., members of that community continue to suffer from a fiscal perspective. Latinos have historically been thrust into unskilled and low-wage jobs, so the author contends that an increase in the federal minimum wage would impact Latinos more than members of other races. Higher wages would translate into a higher standard of living and better quality of life. Valle examines the wages earned by Latinos in particular states and how these low-wage workers are adversely impacted by the wage laws that are currently in place. At the fulcrum of this paper is the postulation that the policymakers do not have to completely transform economic policies with regards to the Latino community. Rather, Valle provides a solution of raising the minimum wage as a corrective for racial disparities that remain in the economic arena. As the Latino community continues to expand, there will be a larger volume of workers in low-paying occupations, there the government needs to protect workers. Latino workers have historically been exploited and forced into jobs that barely enable them to scrape by. Although raising the minimum wage will not provide an instant corrective for subaltern workers, it will help the American economy progress in positive way. This source will provide a valuable contribution for addressing the antithesis of my paper regarding the racial aspect of minimum wage discussions.

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