Neumark and Wascher reviewed previous research on the minimum wage and concluded that most studies since the early 1990s had shown that raising the minimum wage meant fewer jobs for low-skilled workers.
But in 2013, John Schmitt, a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, reviewed literature—including Neumark and Wascher’s research, making his a study of studies of studies—since 2000 and came to the opposite conclusion. “The weight of that evidence points to little or no employment response to modest increases in the minimum wage,” he wrote. In other words, raising the minimum wage doesn’t cost jobs. Nor does it spur job creation.
In fact, a key presidential adviser has examined the issue and argued that very point in a research paper written before he joined the administration. Alan Krueger, head of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, and his then-Princeton colleague David Card surveyed hundreds of fast-food restaurants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to see whether a recent increase in New Jersey’s minimum wage led to fewer jobs for workers in that state compared with their counterparts in neighboring Pennsylvania. Krueger and Card concluded there was no evidence that higher minimum wages reduced employment in a study that is still cited today.