Minimum Wage Fraud: Interview with Dr. Walter Williams

If you still believe the myth that minimum wage increases help those at the bottom of the economic ladder, Unequal Harm: Racial Disparities in the Employment Consequences of Minimum Wage Increases, a new research study by William E. Even of Miami University and David A. Macpherson from Trinity University, will give you some food for thought.

As unemployment rates soared to over 10 percent, the highest since the early 80s, those just staring their working life, 16 to 19 year olds, took the brunt of the impact. The unemployment rate for this group grew to 27.1 percent.  For black teens it’s even worse.  50% of black teens are unemployed, and the rate is 55% for young black men.

While many will conclude that the recession is to blame and others will assert “they just don’t want to work”,  the truth is, the  increase in the minimum wage has priced young, inexperienced and untrained workers out of the job market.

Drs. Even and Macpherson focus on 16-to-24 year-old males without a high school diploma, a group that previous studies suggest are particularly susceptible to wage mandates. Among white males in this group, the authors find that each 10 percent increase in a federal or state minimum wage decreased employment by 2.5 percent; for Hispanic males, the figure is 1.2 percent.

But among black males in this group, each 10 percent increase in the minimum wage decreased employment by 6.5 percent. The effect is similar for hours worked: each 10 percent increase reduced hours worked by 3 percent among white males, 1.7 percent for Hispanic males, and by 6.6 percent for black males.

Even and Macpherson don’t lay all of the blame at the feet of minimum wage, certainly the recession had a significant impact, but as you can see from the table below, a significant percentage, especially for blacks, is traceable to increases in minimum wage.Larry Downes – Minimum Wage Fraud: Interview with Dr. Walter Williams

From the study, Unequal Harm

Causes of unemployment increases from the study, Unequal Harm

Dr. Walter E. Williams

Dr. Walter E. Williams, George Mason University

I had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Walter E. Williams about this study and the effects of minimum wage in general. I’ve included it here if you missed it live on 93.1 WIBC.

Organized Links:

The Study:
Unequal Harm: Racial Disparities in the Employment Consequences of Minimum Wage Increases

Dr. Walter E. Williams:

Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?


About Larry Downes

Son, brother, husband, father, boss, mentor & friend. Believer in unfettered personal liberty. Occasional host on 93.1 WIBC in Indianapolis.

2 Responses to “Minimum Wage Fraud: Interview with Dr. Walter Williams”

  1. I would like to know which states are the ’21 states’ mentioned in the chart.
    As we know, there is not a uniform distribution among states nor is mandatory minimum wage laws uniformly distributed amongst states. The question is, what, if any, other factors
    can also be identified for those 21 states. If its Michigan for example, then we know that a large part of it is not minimum wage laws but loss of manufacturing. So, lets get a list of those 21 states and see what other factors are at work. BTW, I am opposed to the minimum wage, but I want hard evidence and not insinuation.

    • Steve,

      In the footnotes of the complete report it says, “The 22 states were Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.” Not sure the disparity, 21 vs 22, between the summary document and the full report. Possibly a typo.

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