Daniel Kuehn repeated a statement from an Economix blog post, saying that, “In fact, in 2000 only 46 percent of American Economic Association members agreed with the idea that the minimum wage increases unemployment.”
That struck me as inconceivable. I could *possibly* believe that as of 2000, only 46% of AEA members thought the minimum wage was bad policy–but to say only 46% believed it increased unemployment?! (Note that those are distinct claims.)
If you go to Wikipedia you can see a more nuanced statement of the result (which I’ve put in bold), as well as the general historical progression:
Until the 1990s, economists generally agreed that raising the minimum wage reduced employment. This consensus was weakened when some well-publicized empirical studies showed the opposite, although others confirmed the original view. Today’s consensus, if one exists, is that increasing the minimum wage has, at worst, minor negative effects.
According to a 1978 article in the American Economic Review, 90 percent of the economists surveyed agreed that the minimum wage increases unemployment among low-skilled workers.
A 1992 survey by published in the same journal revealed 79% of economists in agreement that a minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers.
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, and 26.5% disagreed. The authors of this study also reweighted data from a 1990 sample to show that at that time 62.4% of academic economists agreed with the statement above, while 19.5% agreed with provisos and 17.5% disagreed. They state that the reduction on consensus on this question is “likely” due to the Card and Krueger research and subsequent debate.
A similar survey in 2006 by Robert Whaples polled PhD members of the American Economic Association. Whaples found that 37.7% of respondents supported an increase in the minimum wage, 14.3% wanted it kept at the current level, 1.3% wanted it decreased, and 46.8% wanted it completely eliminated.
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.
P.S. People are saying modest increases won’t hurt employment. Since when is a 24% hike “modest”? Let’s take the estimates at face value. What do people think the employment effects will be? “Only” 50,000 teenagers thrown out of work?