America's 'Top Economists' On the Spot: What Explains Their Low Opposition to a Minimum Wage Increase in 2013?
16 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2013 Last revised: 11 Aug 2013
Date Written: April 11, 2013
In February 2013, the University of Chicago's Initiative on Global Markets surveyed some three dozen economists from top American universities about the possibility of increasing the U.S. minimum wage. Only four, or 11%, said that such an increase would be undesirable. This figure is out of line with the major surveys of economists on that question done over the preceding several years, in which the level of opposition to increasing the minimum wage was 38% or higher. I explore several hypotheses to explain this gap in opposition. One hypothesis is that the gap could be explained by the differing levels of professional achievement attained by top-university economists and economics professors at large, but I provide new evidence that weighs against this hypothesis. Survey-design differences, sampling error, and a real shift in economists' views since 2010 are more plausible explanations for the gap.
Keywords: sociology of economics, minimum wage debate, survey research, epistemic communities, expert opinion, IGM Economic Experts Panel
JEL Classification: A14, B29, D83, J38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation