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Research Seminars & Workshops @ IRES

Immediate Impacts of the City of Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance

Professor Jacob Vigdor
University of Washington

Date: 18 January 2017 (Wednesday)
Time: 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Venue: RMI Executive Seminar Room
Chair: Prof Deng Yongheng

Jacob Vigdor is the Daniel J. Evans Professor of Public Policy and Governance at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington Seattle. He received an undergraduate degree in Policy Analysis from Cornell and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard. He has written extensively on the topics of education policy, immigration, housing policy, and inequality. He is the director of the Seattle Minimum Wage Study, an interdisciplinary mixed-method analysis of the city ordinance passed in 2014. Prior to joining the faculty at UW he served on the faculty of Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy for 15 years.

During the spring of 2014, the City of Seattle launched an ambitious effort to raise the wages of low-wage workers. The City Council passed an ordinance that would set a minimum wage for work done in the City above the State’s minimum wage, which is notable as Washington State already had the highest state minimum wage in the U.S. ($9.47 in 2014, indexed by the CPI-W). Seattle’s Minimum Wage Ordinance will eventually raise the local minimum wage to $15 per hour, thereafter indexed for inflation.

This paper uses administrative records from the State of Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD) to estimate the short-run impact of Seattle’s Minimum Wage Ordinance on the number and hours worked in low-wage jobs, and the effects on wage, employment, hours, and earnings of Seattle workers who were earning low wages at the time of passage. The ESD collects these records for purposes of administering Unemployment Insurance (UI). We provide estimates for the impacts through the end of 2015, which was nine months after the ordinance went into effect on April 1, 2015.

For more information please contact IRES at 6516 8288 or 6516 6947

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