Panel Paper: Immediate Impacts of the City of Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance

Monday, June 13, 2016 : 10:25 AM
Clement House, 2nd Floor, Room 06 (London School of Economics)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Scott Allard1, Scott Bailey2, Heather Hill1, Mark Long3, Jennifer Otten4, Robert D Plotnick1, Jennifer Romich1, Anneliese Vance-Sherman2 and Jacob Vigdor1, (1)University of Washington, (2)Washington State Employment Security Division, (3)Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, (4)University of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition
On April 1, 2014 the City of Seattle raised its minimum wage to $11 from $9.47.  This paper presents a wide-ranging portrait of the anticipated and realized effects of this increase, from the perspective of both employers and workers.  Survey and interview data will highlight expected employer adaptations to higher wage costs, and the expectations and worries of low-wage householders.  Administrative labor market data will show both the net short-term impact on measures of employment, earnings, and hours worked across all low-wage workers, as well as the distribution of gains and losses across workers or industries.  These distributional considerations may in fact be more consequential than average treatment effects to evaluation of the minimum wage as a tool for improving quality of life for less-skilled workers.