Macroeconomics is a tricky beast. It’s easy to take data out of context to fit your narrative, but it’s always important to look at the data and consider what it means, whether it supports you point or not.
Today, we will look at the vast amount of data and see what conclusions we can draw from them, first looking at more seemingly partisan data on the Right and Left and working up from there (see my previous posts on Rights-based arguments and the importance of empiricism in economics).
This is one of the meta-analyses of Neumark and Wascher (the economists most cited in opposition to the minimum wage increases). On page 115 we find the great line: “What is likely most striking to the reader who has managed to wade through our lengthy review is the wide range of estimates of the effects of the minimum wage on employment, especially when compared to the review by Brown et al. in 1982.” That’s for sure. Continue reading
Yesterday, I posted my first piece on this series exploring the minimum wage and demonstrating why utilitarian arguments are so powerful. Today, I will delve into the utilitarian idea surrounding the minimum wage, and consequently an economic analysis of this policy. Economic theory is an excellent way to understand the consequentialist impacts of a policy in marketplace, but this post will also cover the limitations of theory vs data (for the data analysis, see my subsequent post).
The Economics of the Minimum Wage
Economics allows us to understand how market actors and institutions impact the distribution and exchange of resources. Continue reading
Recently, it has become fashionable to douse yourself in freezing cold ice water. Since the Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral these past few weeks, I’ve wondered about the economic efficiency of the phenomenon. The marketing method has been highly successful; the ALS Association has raised over $15 million, obliterating the $1.8 million from the same period last year.
People are pretty excited to participate in a big cultural movement, especially if it’s as easy as shooting a 30 second video. Partaking in a cultural movement where not participating means not donating or raising awareness for charity pushes even more people to do it. It’s also easy (and important) for PR conscious celebrities (and also celebrities who care) to get in on the action. Continue reading