What’s at Stake in the Minimum Wage Debate: A Political Economy Perspective


  • Catherine Fisk (Berkeley Law)
  • Tsedeye Gebreselassie (National Employment Law Project)
  • Ken Jacobs (Berkeley Labor Center)
  • Michael Reich (Economics, IRLE).

Moderator: Diana Reddy (doctoral student in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at Berkeley)

Buoyed by social movements and new economic research, the Biden administration seeks to more than double the current federal minimum wage.  In response, a representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce proclaimed: “$15 is… a figure based in politics and not economics.”  This interdisciplinary panel brings together scholars and policy experts to contextualize this important debate.  What are the politics of minimum wage policy?  How do economists evaluate minimum wage effects; do they disagree, and if so, why?  How does a minimum wage compare with other policy proposals to reduce economic inequality and improve the lives of workers?  Throughout, the panelists will reflect on how the minimum wage debate connects to broader claims about the relationship between politics, markets, and law.

Location: Online Event

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